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Full text of "Municipal book, city of Houston, period ending December 31, 1928"

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HOUSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 



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* Index to Contents 1^ 

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Page 

Number 






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Houston Historically 5 

Houston — An Introduction 7 NAdl'lf 

The U. S. S. Houston : 14 

Xand and Tax Department 21 

I Water Department '. 25 

_Street and Bridge Department 31 

f" Fire Department 35 

Controller Department 41 

Police Department 47 

City Manager Department 51 

Engineering Department 5 1 ) 

Legal Department 67 

Health Department 69 

Park Department 75 

Recreation Department 85 

Public Service Department 93 

Civil Service Department 97 

-/-'Houston Foundation 101 

Social Service Departr~~nt 105 

Architect Department 111 

Corporation Court 113 

Electrical Department 115 

Houston Schools 117 

Houston Libraries . 125 

Port of Houston . 131 

General Photographs 141 




Founders of City of Houston 

and 

First Advertisement on City 

J. K. Allen and A. C. Allen 




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_<nv v.TKDo 



ms 

. . ■ . . -.- not ready to offei l 
i- italand ts. ' _ 

i lie town o/ Houston is ii» 

' ■> ■ and tin tradi cii'1 he ini gi st ami i 

■ ie seen th it the tra 

' l la; . : ,a ovi □< 

• • . will at 1 timi 

Million ] >oi - uis of capita], mi .. h 

or co i ial ( mporium of Texas. 
T ■ • '■••■ n of Houston is distant 15 
* Iiti.lt; North ..: Hast, from Sail V, h'p] 

pacity ,va | [ \ '" 10 !j J ' antJ :;i "; w ' ; -' j 
- York run sail without obstacle to 



t©wi ois 1 ibotssn&st* 



f iluti'alo Bayou, 
e, until now, the 
.!\ antages o! cap- 



it. 



ntc- 



tnli troi thi Bi i -. river, 30 miles, a 
GO miles from Washington, 40 miles 
from Nt-v: Kentucky, and 15 miles by 
'burg. Tide water runs to ihu place 
i\ icet. Vessels from New Orleans or 
his place, ami steamboats of the larg- 



t mi- V( . 

S Oi .. -t class can rundown to Galveston Island in -~ or 10 hours, in all reasons of 
-)X t . the v< ar It is but a f< w hours sail down the bay, where one may take an ex- 



■: pleasure and ei 
'" " (Jaivi i-'ii harbor being th 



t! 



h: 



jsh, foul, oysters and sea bathing. 

sels drawing a large rlraft of 

Island the ere it naval and 



Xica.il in navigate, must necessarih i 

vlijrli, mercial depot of the country. 

The. town of Houston imul be tin placi where arms, amunitions and provi- 
nir|1 ' - ,,ii- for the government will be stored, because, situated in the very In-art of 
'initio ||„. country, it combines security and the means if casj distribution, and a na- 
ili-io.i tional armory will no doubt very soon be established ai this point. 

. There is" no- place in Texas more healthy, having tin nbundann oi excel- 

nis "' lent spring water, and enjoying the sea breeze in all its fit-shin - No place in 

'o a ' Tex;;-, possesses hi many advantages for building, Inn ing Pine, Ash, ( 'edar and 

,. jf Oak in inexhaustible quantities; also the tall and beautiful Magnolia grows in 

abundance. In the vioinih ire fin 6 quarries of -tunc. 

Nature appears to hai i designated Ihis place for the future icatoi Govern- 
ment. It is handsome and I autiftill elev.atcd, salubrious and well watered, 

and now in the very hi r1 population, and will be so for a length 

it ci ibin '. npo'rtant advantages: a communication 

foreign countries, and with the different portions of the Re- 

ountrv shall iirinrove, rail roads will become in use, and will 

from this up to 

i . and hi a few 

■-ton 



i( bc of time to - - 
tCS with the coast 

' public. \- thi 
i be extended i ro 



» this point to the Brazos, i 



. S1CO , 


... j 
h- lions 


Ml tO 1 


hi ■ five 


1 III 11!.)- 


The 


Snv oi' ' 


.i uiipro 


: to it. 




same 


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. nut' 


,i Wash 


. no 


I, . [,ou 


n- 





- its way into G 

iv Mill, and a large Tub. 
Steamboats now run in 
regularh to thi Island 



the head waters of ^an Jacinto, ei 
years the whole trade of tin: upper Jim/ 
j{ kai through this channel. 

Preparations arc now making to i rei t 
:,,- coin.. nidation, will soon 
will in a short time commei 
-:. tors offer the lots forsnle on moderate terms to thosi ivl - 
-in and invite the public to examine for themsclvi - 
" A. < : - AU.I.V for 

A. ('. ,V J. K. W.I.KN 

ii ,,,„. of New Orlean 



jjacAii. 



HOUSTON - Historically 

By Clarence R. Wharton 



ANY of our American commonwealths and cities have seen cen- 
turies of growth and development, but Houston has not yet reached 
its 100th year. On August 30, 1836, the promoters of the proposed town 
of Houston inserted their first advertisement in the only newspaper then 
being published in Texas — Borden s Telegraph and Register, which at that 
time was being issued at Columbia, on the Braz,os. The advertisement was 
of a city yet to be. A reproduction of it is given on the preceding page. 

In November, 1836, the Congress of the Republic of Texas was in 
session at Columbia, and voted to select a seat of government until the year 
1840. The Journal of this session recited that on the fourth ballot 
"Houston on Buffalo Bayou was chosen over Matagorda and Washington. 11 

At that time there was not a house in Houston. 

Francis R. Lubbock, afterwards governor of Texas, was residing at 
Columbia and decided to move to Houston along with the government. 
In January, 1837, he loaded his chattel effects upon a boat bound for the 
new capital, and in his memoirs relates that they arrived at Harrisburg with- 
out difficulty, but he says, no boat had ever been above Harrisburg and, 
"we were three days making the distance to Houston. The slow time was 
in consequence of the bad snags that we were compelled to move as we 
progressed. We had to rig a windlass which was placed on the shore and to 
heave the logs and snags out of the way — the passengers all working faith- 
fully. Capitalists, dignified Judges, military heroes, young merchants in fine 
clothes, all lent a helping hand. It was necessary to lie by at night. In 
the evenings we had dancing and frolicking with the settlers on shore, who 
were delighted to see us. Just before reaching our destination a party of us, 
becoming weary of the steamer, took a yawl and concluded we would hunt 
for the city. 

"So little evidence could we see of a landing that we passed by the site 
and ran up White Oak Bayou, where we stuck in the brush. We then 
backed down the Bayou and discovered a road or street leading off from 
the water's edge. Upon landing we found stakes and footprints. Follow- 
ing these up the bank we saw some tents located not far away. One large 
one was a saloon. Several small houses were in the course of erection." 

About the same time that Governor Lubbock discovered the city, 
approaching from the east, Captain Robert Boyce, who had recently been 
a soldier in the army of the Republic, approached it from the west. In 

Page 5 



a record which he has left, he says that they left Brazoria on the 18th ot 
January, 1837, with two wagons drawn by oxen, and in three weeks had 
reached Bray's Bayou. 

"We built a rough bridge over Bray's Bayou. . . . About three o'clock 
in the afternoon we sighted Houston. It then consisted of clapboard camps 
and tents; not even a log house was finished. Coming from Bray's Bayou we 
struck the heavy timber just south of Market Square. (This heavy timber 
was what is now the intersection of Preston and Travis streets.) After 
breakfast the next morning we discovered a new white tent in which a 
New Orleans merchant had opened a clothing store. Here, for $4, I pur- 
chased an outfit and dressed up like a gentleman." 

These beginnings of Houston were only a little more than ninety years 
ago. Until long after the Civil War Galveston was the leading city of 
Texas. 

There is quite a contrast now with what Frank Lubbock and Bob Boyce 
saw when they approached the city from opposite directions ninety years 
ago. Who can say that when another ninety years have rolled away the 
changes will be even greater, and that our children's children will not 
make comment on the rude simplicity of the Houston of 1929? Who 
knows? 



Page 6 



HOUSTON - An Introduction 

By H. Clay Waters 



f^Z~J? \1 TE who live amidst the fast changing scenes of a rapidly growing city 

^ML/ have difficulty in keeping up with the progress we are making. It is 

well we now and then take stock, that we recapitulate and set down just 

what we have done; and recall to ourselves, and remind the world, of our 

progress, and record where we now are. 

In order to do that this City Book of Houston has been compiled. 
Within its pages is condensed in word and picture the story of a city's 
marvelous growth, a story both instructive and fascinating, and one that 
should inspire and give added impetus to future growth. 

The growth of a city, as the growth of a nation, seems naturally to 
divide itself into epochs. The story told herein concerns itself largely with 
what is surely an epoch — the last eight years. Incidentally it is the period 
coincident with the tremendous revival following the recovery from the 
World War. 

The latest edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica recognises this epoch 
in this city's growth when it says of Houston : 

"A few years after the world war, Houston became a world 
port, with 33 steamship lines in 1925 operating regularly to the 
principal ports of lS[orth and South America, Europe and the 

Orients Between 1920 and 1925 great progress was made 

in paving and widenirig streets, constructing sewers and bridges, 
improving the fire department, building driveways along the 
bayous, adding par\s and public buildings and transforming the 
business section with modern office buildings and hotels " 

The period under discussion comprises roughly the four terms of Mayor 
Oscar F. Holcombe, which came to a close in April, 1929. Perhaps it was 
the spirit of an awakening city, throbbing with the new life, that followed a 
period of comparative stagnation during the war period, that called to its 
service a young and aggressive type of man to head the municipal govern' 
ment, that was responsible for that growth. Perhaps that leader helped 
kindle to high pitch that spirit of progress and growth, but, be it as we will 
have it, none have disputed that great results were accomplished. 

No array of figures can portray adequately the transformation that has 
come to Houston, in those eight years of momentous change. The child 
blossoms into sturdy young manhood or womanhood by the addition of 

Page 7 






bone and sinew. But he adds something else — things of the spirit, high am- 
bitions, an awakened confidence in his powers. He feels his strength and 
sets new high goals. 

So it has been with Houston. Those who look back a decade may recall 
a city of dreams and promises and hopes. Long we had talked of the chan- 
nel and what it would do to make a city — when our dreams came true. 
We promised ourselves we would some day lift the city out of the mud. 
We had gone so far as to make city plans, in which we pictured beautiful 
driveways along the banks of bayous. We had told ourselves we had a 
wonderful opportunity to construct here a great system of parks and play- 
grounds. We had visualised the rearing of great skyscrapers, the erection 
of wonderful and highly modern school buildings, magnificent libraries and 
art museums, broad paved highways extending to the ever-expanding limits 
of the city. We had talked of great concrete drives running down the bayou 
to meet at shipside the cargoes from ports all over the world. We had en- 
visioned the coming of great refineries and factories and power plants to 
line our ship channel. 

We had boundless confidence, inherited from those pioneers who had 
worked long and hard to lay the foundations, but always we talked of the 
time to come in which we were to realise on those dreams of greatness. 

And then the time did come. It came more quickly than the most san- 
guine of us had expected, and certainly the harvest of things hoped for was 
a bounteous one. It began eight years ago when a tremendous era of mu- 
nicipal improvements began, backed up by the confidence of the people, 
and supported generously by their funds. It is significant that the people 
here took the leadership through their municipal government in pushing 
the city forward. They didn't wait for private initiative to start first. 
They led. Already they had poured out their money to help bring the sea 
to the city and to construct municipal terminals. They had no doubt of 
the security of that investment, and they began to add quickly the munici- 
pal improvements for a great city which they knew had been made in- 
evitable by its natural advantages and the millions they had invested to 
build a port. 

Let's take a glance back to the beginning of this period. Only eight years 
ago' strangers in our midst would comment on our backwardness in paving 
of city streets, in our lack of sewerage systems, in our seeming lack of pride 
/n our public buildings, in the lack of bridges across our bayous and the 
unsightliness of the few we had. As we behold now from our vantage 
ground what has been achieved we are prone to feel that we have always 
enjoyed these things, but they have come to us so grandly and in such 
quick succession that we have ourselves become a little bewildered with 
it all. 

Page 8 



The entire area of the city comprised but 35 square miles in 1920, 
and now it is 68.78, or nearly double the area then. We boasted of 140,000 
population in 1920. An extensive survey of the Southwestern Bell Tele- 
phone Company months ago fixed our population at 285,000, declaring 
Houston to be the metropolis of Texas, whereas ten years ago it ranked 
third in the government census. Undoubtedly the 1930 census will verify 
that fact. Recent poll tax payments, scholastic enumerations and numbers 
of consumers of light, gas and telephones all corroborate the fact Houston 
leads the State. 

In eight years Houston has constructed more miles of paved streets than 
in all the 81 years of the previous history of the city, since the Allen 
brothers planted a little community on the banks of Buffalo Bayou, drew a 
blue print and began to tell wonderful stories of the future of their town' 
site in truly approved real estate fashion. But that doesn't tell but half the 
story of street improvements. Until eight years ago we hardly knew what it 
was to widen a street. But since then we have gone in for street widening 
on a vast scale, and have found great relief for constantly increasing traffic. 

The driveways we had pictured on blue prints and in pictures, planning 
experts had made, have become a reality, but are not all completed. All are 
familiar with Buffalo Bayou drive, White Oak drive and the work in 
progress on MacGregor drive. With these roadways we have pierced new 
sections of the city, and brought them close to the heart of the metropolis, 
and added millions to the taxable value. In this highway construction pro- 
gram we have not failed to construct a score of bridges and underpasses, 
linking sections of the city together, which only a few years ago were miles 
apart, due to lack of passageways over bayous which cut the city. Just recall 
that only eight years ago one had to travel from the Hyde Park-Montrose 
section down through the heavy traffic to get out to the heavily populated 
Houston Heights — now a little drive of a few minutes across Waugh drive. 

What Houstonian can help but be proud of those driveways down the 
channel on each side, unquestionably the finest roadways of any city in 
Texas, and probably in the entire Southland. Constructed at a cost of ap' 
proximately $5,000,000 they link the heart of Houston with its great ter- 
minals on both sides of the Turning Basin and farther down the channel. 
Only last month was the $750,000 Franklin-Navigation underpass opened 
to traffic, completing the drive on the south side of the channel. Many of 
these driveways went over land not before used for street purposes, which 
had to be acquired at heavy cost, and a great deal of the work was attended 
by difficult engineering problems. The present administration leaves office 
with all funds provided and plans made for the completion of the White 
Oak drive and MacGregor drive, and with progress far along on a great 

Page 9 



highway that is to circle the city on its outer rim, making one of the finest 
automobile driveways in the United States. 

A little over eight years ago and Houston, to its shame, had an inade' 
quate sewer system, in this southern climate where it is so much needed. 
Tens of thousands of open toilets served as a menace to the health of its 
people. Despite the remarkable expansion of the city ninety per cent of its 
residents are now served with sanitary sewers. Portions of the city that are 
not have been only recently acquired. It is now the settled policy of the city 
to always supply sanitary sewers except where the population is too scanty 
or the cost prohibitive. 

Houston has also made great progress in the construction of storm 
sewers, although the drainage problem in Houston is beset with many dif' 
Acuities due to the flat topography, running costs into huge sums. But some 
millions have been spent, a complete drainage plan worked out and it calls 
for construction of a complete system over a period of the next few years. 

Houston has but recently been commended by one of the leading city 
planning experts of the country for what it has done in the way of parks 
and playgrounds. Eight years ago it had little to brag of. It owned Hermann 
Park, but that 545 acres was nothing but a wilderness of underbrush, wait' 
ing for the hand of an artist. Now, its magnificent golf course, Miller 
Memorial, imposing statue of Sam Houston, playgrounds, beautiful paved 
drives, 2,00 which attracts thousands of visitors, and its native woodland, 
make it one of the South's greatest playgrounds. At that time few people 
knew we owned anything but unimproved Hermann Park, 20-acre Sam 
Houston Park and a few small, mostly unimproved playgrounds. Now we 
own 30 parks and playground sites comprising more than 2,600 acres and 
a large number of them have been highly improved. Crowning the park 
system is Memorial Park of 1,503 acres, which, when present plans are 
carried out, will make it the largest and most beautiful of the parks of the 
country. 

A complete story of a multitude of city activities is told within the 
pages of this little book, but in introduction we may here just mention some 
changes that have come over many activities of the city in just the few 
years encompassed in this review. 

Let's just mention what has been done in the way of public buildings, 
the remodeling of the city auditorium, the construction of one of the most 
beautiful central libraries in the South and construction of two beautiful 
branches; the construction of a central fire and police station, to take the 
place of two old dilapidated eyesores that housed these departments be' 
fore; the erection of many new sub fire stations, built in a style of archi' 
tecture to adorn the neighborhoods where they are placed; the voting of 
bonds for erection of the first unit of a new city hall to cost $1,000,000, 

Page 10 



and the scores of new junior, senior and elementary school buildings, told 
of in these pages. Recall that eight years ago Houston had no hospital 
worthy of the name for its sick and afflicted. Now it has Jefferson Davis 
Hospital, a joint countycity project; it supports generously the tubercular 
hospital; and it has a hospital for negroes, made possible through gener' 
osity of J. S. Cullinan. Let's not overlook the finest Farmers' 1 Market in the 
South, erected over the bayou. 

The police department in eight years has progressed from a "hick 
town" force to one of metropolitan proportions and appearance. Its 
traffic regulatory system is one that has been adopted as a model for many 
other cities. 

The Houston fire department has been completely motorized in eight 
years, firemen are better paid and do not work 24 hours as they did eight 
years ago. 

Every department of the city has undergone a tremendous expansion 
in the last eight years, due to growth in si2,e, and public demand for various 
extensions of services. 

Some idea of the growth of eight years is gleaned from the fact that 
assessed values of Houston have jumped from $183,023,260 in 1921 to 
more than $305,000,000 for 1928, and assessments for this year will likely 
touch $325,000,000. The revenues have nearly doubled with no boost of 
the tax rate and no general increase in assessments, so that Houston now 
collects nearly $9,000,000 annually in taxes. 

Figures do not adequately convey how the activities of such depart' 
ments as public health, social service, and kindred matters have grown until 
they now touch with healing hands many thousands of persons annually. 

Houston's water department has kept pace with the city's growth, until 
today it has the finest water supply system in Texas, with the lowest rate 
for water, or 1 5 cents a thousand gallons for domestic use. 

Some big things that have been brought about within the eight years in 
review are purely of an administrative nature, likely to go unnoticed, but 
of vast importance. For instance, eight years ago the schools were under 
control of the city government, through appointment by the mayor of the 
school trustees. The port district was under control of the city. 

This mixture of governmental functions led to confusion and retarded 
the activities of all of them. One of the things done to simplify administra' 
tive problems was to divorce both the schools and port district from the 
municipal government. That required action by the state legislature. But 
under the new arrangement the port and schools have made remarkable 
progress, which has amply justified this reform in the administration of 
these public entities. 

Also in the regulation of public utilities Houston has made tremendous 

Page 11 



strides during the last few years. Flocks of jitneys sapped the revenues of 
the city street railway company eight years ago. They were abolished, and 
today Houston admittedly has a system of street transportation not sur- 
passed by any city of similar siz,e in the country, with a fare about the av- 
erage for cities of the same size. It has more bus transportation than prob- 
ably any other city in the nation. 

A reduction in light rates has been made and the Houston Lighting & 
Power Company has invested here now $30,000,000 and is spending 
$6,000,000 this year to keep up with the progress of the city. 

The coming of natural gas to Houston two years ago was another of 
the blessings which is to make for continued growth. Through three pipe 
lines, two from Southwest Texas and one from the great North Louisiana 
fields, Houston is now supplied by two different gas interests, with a 
boundless supply of natural gas, and has as low a domestic rate as any city 
of the country, with competitive industrial rates. 

Houston is now in the midst of its great civic and industrial progress. 
For the first time in the city's history one administration passes out, and 
another comes in to find a heavy bond issue waiting to be spent. To start 
things off the new administration has $5,000,000, or more, to carry for- 
ward plans already made for improvements around the $5,000,000 Southern 
Pacific passenger terminal and for White Oak drive and general city im- 
provements. 

Houston is proud of her traditions. Her history is closely entwined with 
the history of those heroic men and women who carved their homes in the 
wilderness and then threw off the yoke of foreign oppression. Five flags of 
sovereignty have waved over the soil which is now Houston, and on which 
was once located the capital of Texas. Here men wrought in peace and war. 
Here flowered the glories of the old South, and then here came in 1928— 

The democratic hosts of a nation to name their candidate for president, 
another epoch marker, for it helped to wipe from the slate of time the 
Mason and Dixon Line, and to plant the name of Houston among the 
cosmopolitan cities of America. 

Of the future, of course, Houston has no fear. She has traversed the 
rocky road and has reached the smooth pavement, where the going is easier 
and even faster. 



Page 12 




The U. S. S. HOUSTON 

By William A. Bernrieder, Secretary 
"Cruiser Houston" Committee 



ROM the sons of ancient Phoenicia hails the inspiring custom of naming 

ships of war after national heroes of both war and peace. On down 
through the corridors of time to the present day, we find this beautiful cus' 
torn still in vogue, with only minor changes. 

As Americans, we adopted the custom of naming our commercial vessels 
after our various presidents and outstanding leaders in the realms of science, 
invention, engineering and commerce. Our vessels of war occupy a some 
what different category in that battleships are named after our States; 
cruisers and aircraft carriers after our cities, while destroyers, supply ships, 
colliers and other craft are named after our national heroes and distinguished 
constituents of the military and naval service. 

The earnestness and persistence of the Cruiser HOUSTON campaign 
bore fruit, and on September 7, 1927, Secretary of the Navy Wilbur an' 
nounced the new U. S. S. HOUSTON. 

The tale of how the Cruiser Houston came into being is one of the dc 
lightful stories known to most everyone. Houston won this distinction in a 
contest, lasting nine months, in which over 80 important cities vied for the 
honor. 



Page 14 



The new cruiser is now more than 40% complete. She is taking con' 
structive form on the ways of the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry 
Dock Company, at Newport News, Virginia. When 70% complete she 
will be christened and launched. 

With a length of approximately 600 feet, and beam of 65 feet, this 
cruising sea'fighter will represent a tonnage of 13,000 tons, and will prove 
the ultimate in the cruiser class of war vessel, capable of a high speed of 40 
miles per hour. 

The complement of the U. S. S. HOUSTON will consist of about 35 
officers and 600 men. Her armaments will consist of 10 8" guns, each capa' 
ble of hurling projectiles weighing 275 pounds. These batteries will be aug- 
mented by 4 5" anti-aircraft guns. She will mount 6 torpedo tubes, and be 
equipped with seaplanes which can be easily and quickly catapulted in any 
weather, at any speed of the ship. 

Her power plant will have high-pressure boilers of latest design and a 
complete refrigeration system. 

The new HOUSTON'S cruising radius will be approximately 10,000 
miles at a speed of 20 knots. 

After launching and commissioning she will proceed to Port Houston to 
receive the handsome silver service a grateful city will present, with added 
ceremonies. Our namesake will then proceed on her long voyage, better 
known in naval vernacular as a "shakedown cruise" — for additional trial 
tests and availability measurements. 

"Cruiser Houston" Committee 






GAVIN ULMER 
Vice-Chairman 



THOMAS H. BALL 
Chairman 



A. D. SIMPSON 

Vice-Chairman 



Page 15 



<5|J)sCAR Gf„ 6MOLCOMBE 

Mayor City of Houston 

April, 1921— April, 1929 




■ 






CITY COMMISSIONERS WHO HAVE LONG SERVED HOUSTON 

Left {top) — A. L. Anderson, Fire Commissioner ; Right {top) — James H. B. House, Water 

Commissioner; Left {lower) — Ben S. Davison, Street and Bridge Commissioner; Right 

{lower) — H. A. Halverton, Land and Tax Commissioner 





INCOMING CITY OFFICIALS 
Top — Walter E. Monteith, Mayor. Left — H. A. Delery, Fire Commissioner. Center— S. A. 
Starkey, Street and Bridge Commissioner. Right — D. Barker, Land and Tax Commissioner 





These members of the official family have faithfully 

served the City of Houston during the period of its 

greatest developmen 



Left to right, top row — H. S. Williams, Asst. 
Purchasing Agent, Managers Dept. : Mrs. M. H. 
Westerman, Acting City Secretary; T. W. Browne. 
City Assessor and Collector; George Richardson, 
First Assistant Fire Chief. 

Second row — J. A. Fite, City Treasurer; A. G. 
Ford. Chairman. Civil Service Commission; Mrs. 
T. H. Eggert, Secretary of Censor Board : G. L. 
Fugate. Principal Assistant City Engineer. 

Circle — W. A. MeNabb, Supt. Garbage and 
Scavanger Dept. ; Percy Heard, Ass't. Supt. of 
Police; Dr. H. C. Feagin, Ass't. City Health 
Officer; Will Smith, Fire Marshal. 

Bottom row — Wm. A. Bemrieder. Secretary to 
Mavor; T. J. Harris, Ass't. City Attorney. 





LAND and TAX 
DEPARTMENT 



\ 



Land and Tax Department 

By H. A. Halverton 

((^INCE 1912 the Somers System of Equalisation of Taxable Values has 

been used in Houston, and found to be satisfactory both to the Tax De- 
partment and to the property owners. With this unit system in use, every 
tax payer can feel that he is on an equal basis with his neighbor, as far as 
taxation is concerned and that taxation is entirely removed from politics. 

The Tax Department is recognised as one of the most important 
branches of city government, for through its office must flow all the 
money paid in for the operation of the city. 

Due to the great growth in population and development of Houston 
during the past eight years, the work of this department has increased 
many fold. Some idea of this increase is shown by a comparison of the 
years of 1921 and 1928. 

In 1921 the total assessed valuation of Houston was $183,023,610, 
while in 1928 this valuation reached $305,216,610, an increase of approxi- 
mately 70%. 

The amount of taxes collected for 1921, including the school taxes was 
$4,31 1,036.69 while for 1928 the collections were $5, 146,9 5 1.58 which was 
for city purposes only, the school collections amounting to $3,090,837.43, 
making a total collection of current taxes amounting to $8,237,789.01. 

Besides this amount the department handled in miscellaneous collections, 
including delinquent taxes from previous years, $2,851,418.71, making a 
total collection for the year of $11,089,207.80. 

The cost of operation of the Tax Department in 1921 was $47,324.89 
while in 1928 the total cost was $95,143.80. This includes the cost of 
collecting the school taxes as well as the city taxes and a credit from the 
Houston Independent School District of $34,773.35 is allowed which re- 
duces the cost of operation of the Tax Department by just that much for 
the year of 1928. 

From time to time during the past eight years, the city limits have 
been extended, and new territory has been taken in which is subject to taxes 
by the City of Houston; likewise the Houston Independent School District 
has extended its limits. All of this new territory has been revalued both as 
to the land and the improvements by the Tax Department. 

Every possible effort has been put forth to collect all delinquent taxes. 

The duties of the Tax Department are: First, to see that the assessed 
values of all taxable property are on a fair and equitable basis throughout 

Page 21 



the city; Second, to compile all the necessary records so that the taxes can 
be collected; and Third, to see that all collections are made and deposited 
in the bank and turned over to the City Treasurer for distribution to the 
different funds. 

Another activity that comes under the supervision of the Land and Tax 
Commissioner is the Land Department. In this department are handled 
nearly all negotiations for land to be purchased for the opening and widen- 
ing of streets, boulevards, underpasses, obtaining right of ways for both 
sanitary and storm sewers, land for various activities such as stable sites, 
fire and police station sites, incinerator sites, parks and drives. All 
negotiations have been carried out with instructions from the City Council 
and subject to its approval. 

In the years of 1927 and 1928, 214 parcels of land were purchased for 
the total consideration of $1,661,261.27. There were 167 buildings, stores 
and dwelling houses moved and relocated in connection with the various 
activities handled through this department. 

The City Farm has been under the supervision of this Department 
since it was reopened in January, 1923. New buildings were constructed, 
new equipment installed consisting of trucks, tractors, mules and machinery 
of all kinds, and operation carried on in the most economical manner pos- 
sible. The cost of operation for 1923 was $22,143.96. This, of course, in- 
cluded the cost of the new buildings and equipment. In 1925 the cost of op- 
eration was $17,686.58, while for the current year 1928 the cost was 
$14,681.48. 

The Rental Department is also under the supervision of this depart- 
ment. For the year of 1928 $32,521.53 was collected. 



Page 22 



OFFICE OF T. W. BROWNE 
ASSESSOR AND COLLECTOR 
CITY OF HOUSTON, TEXAS 

ANNUAL REPORT OF COLLECTIONS AND DISBURSEMENTS 

FOR THE YEAR OF 1928 

COLLECTIONS 

Miscellaneous $ 487,198.83 

Occupations 15,156.11 

Tax Certificates 2,843.50 

Bills for Collection— General 701,104.60 $1,206,303.04 

Bills for Collection— Special 347,351.79 347,351.79 

Special Deposits 23,405.80 23,405.80 

Current Tax— City 5,078,304.43 5,078,304.43 

Delinquent Tax— City 3 1 1,884.07 

Interest 43,430.01 

Adv. and Costs 15,901.20 371,215.28 

Delinquent Tax, City of Harrisburg 19,570.98 19,570.98 

Current Tax— Library 68,647. 1 5 68,647. 1 5 

Delinquent Tax — Library 3,745.62 

Interest 529.39 4,275.01 

Miscellaneous Library 5,828.39 5,828.39 

Current Tax— School 3,090.837.43 3,090,837.43 

Delinquent Tax— School 202,689.3 1 

Interest 26,110.18 

Adv. and Costs 4,327.70 233,127.19 

10,448,866.49 
Balance on Hand December 31, 1927 640,341.31 

$11,089,207.80 
DEPOSITS 

General Fund $ 6,776,261.60 

Special Deposits 23,380.80 

Library 78,112.71 

Special Funds 347,351.79 

School 3,320,763.15 10,545,870.05 

$10,545,870.05 
Balance on hand December 31, 1928 543,337.75 



!1 1,089,207.80 



Page 23 



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Pacye 24 




WATER 
DEPARTMENT 



Water Department 

By J. H. B. House 



(^]r\ ROB ABLY no municipal department is of greater and more vital im- 

al^> portance than the water department. Pure water goes far toward pro- 

moting public health, and Houston is fortunate in possessing an abundant 

supply originating from forty-nine artesian wells of an average depth of 

1200 feet. 

The Water Department is headed by the Water Commissioner, elected 
by the people, and the department organization now consists of 165 em- 
ployees. The history of the department shows a continuous growth in 
keeping with the growth and development of Houston. 

At the time the City purchased the water works property or system, 
October, 1906, there was one pumping station known as the Central plant. 
In 1921 there were four pumping plants while in 1929 there are eight 
pumping plants located in various sections of the city. 

There were 176,010 miles of water mains of all sizes, Jan. 1, 1921, and 
in January, 1929, there were 316,288 miles of mains. 

January 1, 1921, there were 14,676 service connections and on January 
1, 1929, there were 25,283. 

January 1, 1921, there were 18,219 meters in service and on January, 
1929, there were 40,548. 

Some people wonder why there are not as many water meters as there 
are gas and light meters. Oftentimes one water meter will serve seventy-five 
or one hundred users. For instance in an apartment consisting of ten to 
twenty-five apartments, one meter serves all where a gas or light meter is 
installed in every apartment, and again one person may own several houses 
and one meter will serve these houses. 

January 1, 1921, there were 4,025,286,610 gallons of water pumped 
into the mains while for the year ending January 1, 1929, there were 8,005,- 
154,400 gallons pumped. It is very interesting to note that the average 
pumpage per day for the year 1906, or the time the City purchased said 
system, was 10,883,436 gallons and when the city had finally metered all 
the services the average daily pumpage, in 1914, was 5,353,074 gallons, 
which shows the enormous waste of water where it is not metered. 

In 1927 the Central or parent plant was completely renovated and 
during this period the station was operated at all times. The building and 
its equipment are unsurpassed in the South. 

Page 25 




Partial: views of Central Pumping Plant, two new artesian wells 



In 1926 and 1927 two reinforced concrete reservoirs were constructed, 
capacity four and fifteen million gallons, both of which are used in connec 
tion with the Central plant. 

In 1928 a 750,000 gallon reservoir was constructed for the Houston 
Heights plant. 

In 1926 a 300,000 gallon reservoir was constructed at the Scott Street 
Pumping Plant, when said plant was established. These reservoirs are of 
great assistance in maintaining an adequate supply of water as well as main' 
taining standard pressure. 

During this period, 1921 to 1929, there were fourteen new wells added 
to the thirty-five existing wells. 

The money spent during the year 1920 for maintenance work only 
was $153,372.89 and in 1928 for the same purpose $351,488.94. 

The gross revenue for the department for the year 1920 was $325/ 
736.79 and for the year 1928 it was $795,146.47. 

The fundamental policy of the administration of the Water Department 
has been to return all accrued profits to the people in the form of extensions 
and general improvements. 

The city's extensive paving activities during the past several years have 
required the expenditures of large amounts of money for renewal of services, 
moving fire plugs, and lowering and recorking mains. 

Another fact to be considered is the tremendous volume of free water 
furnished to the city schools, charitable institutions, and various municipal 
departments. 

There are many needed improvements which have been mapped out for 
the immediate future and will be put into execution as soon as money is 
available. 



Page 27 




Interior views of Central Pumping Plant 




Interior and exterior views of one of the new, modern pumping plants 




STREET and BRIDGE 
DEPARTMENT 



Street and Bridge Department 

By Ben S. Davison 



HE Street and Bridge Department of the City of Houston is a dc 
partment of vast importance to the city. It is presided over by one of 
the four commissioners elected by the people. Yet its duties are not so broad 
as the name of the department would indicate nor as extensive as the 
popular notion. 

The department has nothing to do with letting the contracts for paving 
any street, whether the pavement is hard surfaced, or consists of gravel, 
shell or topping. Neither has it to do with the repairing or maintenance of 
hard surfaced pavements. This work is done through general contract, let 
by the City Council and supervised by the City Engineering Department. 

The department might more properly be termed the Municipal House- 
keeper. As such the cleaning and sweeping of all paved streets is under its 
direction. It also has charge of the digging and cleaning of all ditches, a 
sizeable task in a city like Houston, with its flat topography. It also has 
charge of sprinkling city streets. It also constructs and keeps in repair the 
thousands of foot bridges and roadway bridges over drainage ditches. One 
important function of the department is to maintain the graveled and shelled 
streets. 

In all these activities its work has been greatly increased within the 
last eight years. 

Four years ago this department had equipment valued at $80,245. At 
the beginning of 1929 the department had equipment valued at $262,677, 
having accumulated in the four'year period equipment valued at $182,432, 
which was bought with current city revenues. 

Within that period the number of motor propelled pieces of equipment 
in the department increased from 1 5 to 60, but at the same time the number 
of mules was increased from 78 to 141. 

During the past four years the department has constructed over 10 
miles of streets built of gravel, roc^ shell and old brick, besides paving 
several skips in streets from these materials taken from streets that were 
being permanently paved. The only construction work the department has 
under its control is where the city has material to move from a street being 
permanently paved. This material is used on adjacent streets. 

While four years ago this department had but a little more than 100 
miles of paved streets to clean, it now has 205.4 miles, of which 183 miles 
must be cleaned daily when weather conditions will permit. These 183 

Page 31 




Views showing activities of the Street and Bridge Department and several types of 

equipment used 



miles were broomed 197 times last year at a cost to the city of $60,650. 
Sweepers traveled 39,979 miles and gathered up 14,658 yards of sweepings. 
The cost to the department, including disposing of sweepings was $1.93 
a mile. 

There are approximately 1700 miles of ditches, which the department 
looks after, and which require constant attention, and for that purpose the 
city is divided into districts with a foreman in charge of a gang of street 
workers in each district. 

During the year 1928 it cost $129,885 for surface drainage. The dc 
partment cleaned 789.4 miles of ditches, at an average cost of $136.50 per 
mile. 

Improved streets were maintained at a cost of $197,498.56 for labor, 
material, and tools. Gravel cost $21,814.86 for 9,309.41 cubic yards 
f.o.b. track, freight being $18,020.14; and the cost of gravel at the pit 
was $3,794.72, readily showing that the freight was five times the cost of 
material. 

Houston, from its geographical location, finds it impossible to secure 
suitable material for road work within a reasonable haul. In 1928 this dc 
partment crushed 16,787 cubic yards of concrete, salvaged from streets 
which were permanently paved, costing the city $1.12 per cubic yard. If 
this material had been purchased instead of salvaged, it would have cost 
$3.24 per cubic yard on track. 

The total grading done during 1928 by mules and maintainers was 
7,221 miles. The average cost per mile with motor driven maintainers not 
including material or depreciation, $6.83. The average cost per mile with 
six mule grader outfit was $33.00. The average cost per mile to scarify and 
grade was $42.81. The average cost per mile to maintain 457 miles per year, 
including the cost of repairs, feed, fuel, material, labor, blacksmith, re' 
placement of livestock, etc., was $629.53. 

The department has received $2,000,584.92 for maintenance and re' 
placement in the past four years, or an average of $500,146.23 for main' 
taining of streets per year, which includes the cleaning of permanently 
paved streets as well as the sprinkling and surface drainage. The total 
budgets for departmental improvements appropriated for the past four 
years amount to $176,069.75, which is the only item from which it is 
possible to create any assets, except for the few miles of street, built during 
the past four years, of an estimated value of $75,000.00. 

A comparative statement on opposite page shows the amount of equip' 
ment the Street and Bridge Department owned in 1925, and the value 
thereof and the amount of equipment today. 

Page 33 



COMPARATIVE STATEMENT OF EQUIPMENT OF STREET 
AND BRIDGE DEPARTMENT— 19254928 



1925 

2 motor Driven Sprinklers 

3 Mule Drawn Sprinklers 

4 Motor Driven Sweepers 
1 Steam Roller 

1 Gasoline Roller 

1 Mule Drawn Roller 
38 Dump Wagons 

9 Mule Drawn Graders 
78 Mules 

7 Trucks 

3 Barns 



VALUE— 

Including barns 



$80,245 



1928 

4 Motor Driven Flushers 

4 Motor Sprinklers 

2 Mule Drawn Sprinklers 
9 Motor Driven Sweepers 
1 Steam Roller 

1 Hand Roller 

3 Gasoline Rollers 
1 Tractor Roller 

20 Mule Graders 

16 Motor Driven Maintainers 

1 5 -Ton Tractor 
20 Trucks 
138 Mules 
65 Dump Wagons 

7 Passenger Automobiles 

5 Barns 



VALUE— 

T^ot including barns-. 



.$262,677 



Page 34 




FIRE 
DEPARTMENT 



\ 



Fire Department 



By A. L. Anderson 




C. J. OLLRE 



O DEPARTMENT of the city has 
had a greater development in recent 
years than has the Fire Department. 
Houston today has a Fire Department of 
which every citizen may justly feel proud. 

A comparison of the department of 
ten years ago with the department as it 
exists now will give some idea of the sise 
and scope of the present organisation. In 
1919 there were 179 men in the service, 
while today there are 367. 

In 1924 the department answered 
2,689 calls, while ten years ago it an' 
swered only 999. Ten years ago there 
were only fourteen fire stations — today 
there are twenty 'five. 

The annual fire losses in 1919 were 
$1,010,052.00, while last year they were only $1,599,744, which is really 
a great record when it is remembered that Houston has doubled in popula' 
tion during this period. 

The budget for the year 1919 was $234,643.96, while the budget for 
1928 was $615,823.33. 

The entire department, with only five exceptions, is under Civil Service 
regulations and only the highest class of men are selected for service. In 
addition, the Civil Service regulations extend dicipline into the department 
and general efficiency is greatly advanced by this influence. 

The department is composed of the following: the Fire Commissioner, 
who is the executive head; the fire chief, who is the active head; three as- 
sistant fire chiefs; five battalion chiefs; fifty captains, 78 chauffeurs, 219 
firemen, one chief clerk and ten miscellaneous employees. 

The double platoon system was established by the present fire commis' 
sion. Formerly firemen were on duty for 24 hours at a stretch — now they 
work 10 hours and are off duty 14 hours one month and the order is re- 
versed the next month. The double platoon system has greatly added to the 
efficiency of the department, and has made the men much more contented 
with their work and enabled the standard of the personnel to be greatly 



Page 35 




Houston^ Fire Department ranks with that of the leading cities of the South, as can be 
judged by the modern buildings shown above 



raised. It allows the men to enjoy home life. It is being adopted by the 
progressive fire departments all over the country and indicates the de- 
termination of the Houston department to keep pace with the growth of 
other cities. 

There are now two downtown fire stations, known as No. 1 and No. 2, 
which most adequately protect the downtown section and render efficient 
aid to ward stations as needed. No. 1 is located at Preston and Caroline 
and No. 2 is located at Bagby and Capitol, thereby affording protection 
from each side of Main Street and can reach the scene of a fire as quickly 
as possible. 

The Fire Marshal's office now has six Deputy Fire Marshals, an Arson 
Investigator and a Fire Marshal. The deputies maintain a daily inspection 
in the business district, factory district, wharves, etc., seeking to eliminate 
fire hazards. There is no telling how many fires have been prevented through 
this channel for every hazard represents a possible fire. 

Some new equipment has been added to the department in 1928, 
but constant additions are required in order to keep pace with the tre- 
mendous growth of the city. The fire department is now completely motor- 
ized, whereas ten years ago only a few pieces of commercial apparatus could 
be found, which was motor driven, the horse being depended upon, at that 
time. 

The firemen make an annual inspection of every residence in Houston 
seeking fire hazards and their elimination. Fire Prevention is now taught in 
the Public Schools. 

Houston's good fire record credit for 1928 was 12%, which is one of 
the best in the state, and has been gradually increased by the small percent- 
age of fire losses in comparison with the insurance in effect and the vast 
amount of property involved. 

The Houston Fire Department, with its 367 attaches and its 25 stations, 
is doing a wonderful work to save property and lives in Houston. During 
the year there has been some loss of life, both of citizens and brave firemen, 
who died in the discharge of their duty. But the department has saved many 
lives and it can proudly point to the fact that during the entire year not a 
single fire spread beyond the immediate building where it started. Several 
fires have been of such a nature that no amount of efficiency on the part of 
a department could have prevented some loss of life, or could have saved the 
buildings where the fire started, but they were in sections of the city where 
if it had not been for a highly efficient department, the city would undoubt- 
edly have suffered from some great conflagrations. 

Houston citizens generally appreciate the fact that the firemen en- 
counter many dangers in the discharge of their duties. In response to every 
alarm, their lives are in danger and they are subject to many hazards. In ful- 

Pagc 37 




Not only the City of Houston, but also the great industries along the Ship Channel enjoy 

maximum protection from fire 



filling their duties they render a faithful service, braving the elements and 
unflinchingly performing their assignments in a courageous and highly efli' 
cient manner. 

One of the most serious problems that has lately confronted the depart' 
ment is that of getting through traffic. In the old days of horsedrawn equip' 
ment, when there were few private motor cars, the dangers of making runs 
to fires were comparatively slight, but during the year several firemen have 
been injured on the way to fires. How to lessen this danger and still main' 
tain the speed with which the department reaches fires is one of the prob- 
lems that is perplexing the department. 

The Fire Commissioner has sent out appeals to the public to not crowd 
the highways in the vicinity of fires and to always be on the alert to give 
fire equipment the right of way and there are indications the public is 
anxious to respond to this appeal. 

The Houston Fire Department with efficiency a keynote and harmony a 
paramount factor, is a department of merit and serves the citizens faithfully, 
protecting their lives and their property. 

The department now has 53 pieces of motor driven equipment in serv 
ice, of which six steamers are held in reserve. No. 21 Fire station is so called 
and represents the fire boat "Port Houston, 11 located at Wharf No. 5. It is 
the finest fire boat in the world and is manned by 18 men. It is electrically 
operated. This purchase was by co-operation between the city, the naviga' 
tion district and the County of Harris. 



Page 39 




Houston's Modern Fire Fighting Equipment 




CONTROLLER 
DEPARTMENT 



Controller Department 



By H. A. Giles 




O PUBLIC funds can be paid out 
for any cause until the Controller 
Department has given its approval. Its 
jurisdiction in fiscal matters extends over 
every department of the City of Houston. 
The City Controller is elected by the 
people and is the directing head of the de' 
partment. 

In line with the growth of the City of 
Houston between the years 1921 and 
1928, the activities of the Controller's 
office have of necessity been greatly ex- *i 

tended. Due, however, to the installation 
of bookkeeping machines and a more 
scientific accounting system, the office 
force has only been increased by one 
clerk; there being at present seven em' h. a. giles 

ployes as compared with six in 1921. 

As an indication of the increased volume of work handled, the follow 
ing data is given and for the purpose of comparison figures relative to the 
Schools have been eliminated: 

1921 1928 

Current Revenue $ 4,504,167.33 $7,872,513.52 

Expense 3,253,729.41 8,013,299.34 

Expenditures out of Bond Funds 147,897.78 5,206,211.24 

Bonded Debt 13,565,000.00 30,972,259.19 

Bond Issues 58 203 

Bond Funds on hand 445,489.31 2,631,729.86 

Special Deposit Accounts 692 3,197 

The annexation to the city of Magnolia Park, Park Place, Cottage 
Grove and Harrisburg, has added an enormous amount of detail work. 

The present accounting system is so devised as to be sufficiently elastic 
to care for twice the present volume of transactions without change. 

The varied duties of the Controller are specifically prescribed by the 
City Charter, the most important being covered by Section 2 as follows: 
"It shall be the duty of the Controller to superintend and supervise the 

Page 41 



fiscal affairs of the City of Houston, and to manage and conduct the same 
as prescribed by this Charter and the ordinances of the City of Houston 
that are now or may be hereafter enacted, and said Controller shall prepare 
and publish in some newspaper in the City of Houston, not later than the 
5th day of each month, a statement of the preceding month's expenses, 
which statement shall show the total amount paid in monthly salaries to all 
employees in each department of the city, and shall also show the amount 
paid on the weekly payroll to all persons working for the city by the day or 
week, and shall also show the cost of maintaining each department of the 
city government, and the total amount of each month's expenses so incurred; 
said statement shall also show the cost of improvement and extension work 
not properly classed as current expenses and not done under contract with 
outside parties, and shall show all other extraordinary expenditures, for 
interest on bonds, payments on bonds, etc., which statement shall be signed 
and sworn to by said Controller, and he shall permit any qualified elector 
at all reasonable hours to examine or inspect the books of the city, furnish' 
ing such party all reasonable assistance therein, and the Council shall pass 
suitable ordinances to enforce this section and provide suitable penalties. 

"It shall be the duty of the Controller to keep books of account of the 
City of Houston, and to make such financial reports and statements as are 
provided by the terms of this act. His books of account shall exhibit accurate 
and detailed statements of all moneys received and expended for account 
of the city by all city officials and other persons, and shall show in detail the 
property owned by the city and the income derived therefrom. 

"He shall also keep separate accounts of each and every appropriation 
made by the City Council, showing the date thereof and the purpose for 
which the same is made, and shall show for what each payment of any 
public money is made and the manner of making the same and to whom 
same is made. 

"He shall keep a separate account with each department of the city 
government, and also such other accounts as may be necessary to show a 
complete financial statement of the city, and he shall be prepared at every 
regular meeting of the City Council to give such information concerning 
the finances of the City as the Council may require. 

"All warrants or orders for payment of any public fund or moneys for 
any purpose shall be signed by the Controller and the Mayor. No warrant 
not signed by the Controller shall be authority for the payment of any public 
funds whatever, but the Controller shall in no instance, unless the money 
is in the treasury and in the fund against which it is drawn, sign any war- 
rant or order for the payment of any sum or amount for any purpose; pro- 
vided, however, that nothing herein contained shall prevent the issue and 
sale of warrants to anticipate the current revenue for any one year, which 

Page 42 



said warrants shall bear such rate of interest, not exceeding five per cent 
as the City Council by ordinance may prescribe. 

"He shall not sign any contract nor make or execute any warrant or 
order for the payment of any sum of money unless the same be legal and 
all prerequisites and requirements shall have been complied with, nor until 
after an appropriation has been duly and legally made therefor. 

"He shall, whenever deemed necessary, require all accounts presented 
to him for settlement or payment to be certified by affidavit, and he is hereby 
authorised to administer oaths, with authority to compel and require per' 
sons to answer such questions as may be propounded to them touching the 
correctness of any account or claim against the city. He shall require all 
persons who shall have received any moneys belonging to the city, and not 
having accounted therefor, to settle their accounts, and it is hereby made his 
duty from time to time to require all persons receiving moneys, or having 
the disposition or management of any property of the city of which an 
account is kept in his office, to render statements thereof to him; provided 
that no warrant or order shall ever be issued in favor of any person or 
corporation, or to the assignee or agent of any person indebted in any 
manner for taxes or otherwise to the city, unless such debt so due and owing 
to the city be paid. 

"No disbursing officer of the city, nor any one having money in his 
possession for the account of the city, shall pay the same to any person or 
persons for the account of the city, except to the regularly designated officer 
or custodian of the public funds for the city, except upon draft or warrant 
countersigned by the Controller of the City of Houston, and signed by the 
Mayor; and the Controller shall not countersign any such draft or warrant 
until he has audited and examined the claim and found the same justly and 
legally due and payable, and that the payment has been legally authorized, 
and appropriation therefor made, and that the appropriation has not been 
exhausted. 

"The City Controller shall, on or before the fifteenth day of March in 
each year, prepare and transmit to the City Council a report of the financial 
transactions of the city during fiscal year ending the last day of February 
next preceding, and of its financial condition on the said last named day in 
February. The report shall contain an accurate statement in summarized 
form and also in detail of the financial receipts of the city from all sources 
and the expenditures of the city for all purposes, together with a detailed 
statement of the debt of said city, and the purposes for which said debt 
was incurred, and of the property of said city, and of the accounts of the 
city with the grantees of franchises. 

"In addition to the annual statement herein required and of the reports 
which may be demanded by the Council at any time, it is especially made 

Page 43 



the duty of the Controller to be able to show at any time, and certainly 
upon or immediately after the first of each month, a comprehensive and ac- 
curate statement of the financial affairs of the City of Houston, and if any 
officer of any department or any employee of the City shall fail to make 
such stated or stipulated reports as and at the times required either by the 
Mayor or the City Council, it shall be the duty of the Controller to report 
such delinquency or failure to the Mayor, and further to state at any time 
any carelessness or negligence of any officer or employee in the making or 
stating of reports covering any matter within the range of the duty of said 
officer or employee." 



Page 44 





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Page 45 




POLICE 
DEPARTMENT 



Police Department 



By Tom C. Goodson 



(^Tll A ")HEN Houston doubles its popula 




TOM C. GOODSON 



tion in the past eight years; broad' 
ens its area to seventy-two miles square; 
issues upwards of two hundred million 
dollars in building permits; erects on an 
average of fifteen hundred to two thous- 
and buildings per year; floats millions of 
dollars worth of bonds to cover its 
growth; counts daily bank deposits from 
four to five millions; disburses payrolls 
over one million, twelve hundred thous- 
and dollars weekly; increases its educa- 
tional and social institutions by one hun- 
dred per cent; becomes the first inland 
cotton port in the world with the latest 
scientific equipment; leads the entire 
Southwest in the purchase and adapta- 
tion of modern utilities; registers proportionately as many motor driven 
vehicles as any city its siz,e in the U. S. and last, but not least, is the best 
advertised city in the United States, morally and physically, it behooves the 
Police Department to show results in accordance with this development. 

In 1921, 13,159 arrests were made— in 1928, 109,471; in 1921 the 
valuation of lost and stolen property reported was $710,872.86 — in 1928 
it was $1,265,430.56; in 1921 the valuation of lost and stolen property un- 
recovered was $150,641.27— in 1928 it was $249,017.36; in 1921 the 
valuation of lost and stolen property recovered was $560,231.59 — in 1928 
it was $971,413.20; in 1921 the number of index cards on file in the Identi- 
fication Department was 33,807 — in 1928 it was 77,815; in 1921 the fines 
paid into the Corporation Court were $55,062.00; in 1928 they were 
$99,569.00; in 1921 the total police revenue was $54,858.90— in 1928 it 
was $103,447.00; in 1921 the cost of operation was $304,349.31— in 1928 
it was $583,369.63. The city's expansion activities have averaged about 
200 per cent increase, while through strict economy the Police Department 
has covered consequent contingencies at an increased operating cost of 90 
per cent, while arrests have increased 8 times, and fines collected, nearly 
double. 



Page 47 



From the makings of a department 8 years ago it has sprung fungus'like 
into one of importance, not only in itself but in the entire Southwest. 

From apathy it has gradually increased its small cumbersome human 
motive power into a fairly large body of live energetic team workers, who 
now move with systematic alertness under the command of practical and 
experienced superior officers. 

From an old fashioned inactive body, it has expanded with modern 
progressiveness into a recognised and expedient factor. The morale of the 
department has been watched and a vast amount of patience has been ex- 
pended in the slow education of sturdy reliable men, and the careful selec 
tion and placement of men best adapted to the work required of them. The 
department, today, is depending upon itself, gradually acquiring sufficient 
brawn, brains and energy to keep its human wheels well apace with the 
city's aggressive progressiveness. 

The roughneck, old time "Pistol Toter"; the brawny double fisted piece 
of humanity, yelling at the public in an uncouth and ungentlemanly manner 
is now fast becoming a thing of the past. He is being supplanted by the 
lithe young fellow, who considers the public first, approaches one in a 
courteous manner, and would rather impress one with the idea that he had 
unthoughtedly violated a city ordinance than to roughly man-handle him 
and drag him to the station. 

Respect for citizenship is being daily inculcated into the mind of every 
member of the force. Special endeavor is made to secure men of self con- 
trol, courtesy and alertness in thought and action. 

With a paramount problem of traffic to solve; with the desire in mind 
of curbing, as far as possible, the automobile menace to personal safety by 
a cautious police vigilance; and realizing the absolute necessity of coping 
with traffic, a traffic squad was inaugurated on July 15th, 1921, with hand 
semaphores. 

Drifting back to July 15th, 1921, then forward to December 28th, same 
year, date of the first electric signal on Main and Preston; then forward 
again to July 3rd, 1922, the date of the installation of the electric tower and 
the general electric signals on the principal Main Street intersections, you 
have the following very interesting table of traffic arrests : 

1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 
1774 3559 8280 36,596 52,625 77,743 94,888 85,285 

Today Houston's traffic system is widely known and commented upon 
all over the United States. 

A Mounted Traffic Squad was inaugurated April 20th, 1927. 

Briefly sketched, the Houston Police Department began its real era of 
achievement in 1921, since which date it has actually forged ahead, by leaps 

Page 48 



and bounds, in its endeavor to cope with an unprecedented expansion of 
five times the volume of operations in 1928 as in 1921. 

Such crimes as murder, burglary, robbery, hijacking, etc., have fluctu- 
ated. The final disposition is long and the proceedings tedious; preliminary 
hearings have to be made, legal technicalities combated; circumstantial evi- 
dence weighed and convincing proof submitted to the jury, and in many 
cases it is months before the public actually knows the outcome, and no 
matter how heinous the crime, often forgets it before the actual sentence is 
meted out. But whether convicted or not, the Police Department has the 
cumbersome task of collecting and substantiating the evidence, and its work 
goes on continuously. 

Naturally, noted crooks, such as confidence men, pick-pockets, etc., flock 
to the larger flourishing cities, but during the last eight years Houston has 
been more free of this class of gentry than ever before, due to the reason 
that explicit instructions are in order for their arrest as soon as they arrive 
in Houston. 

Due credit must be accorded to the Detective Department, which has 
accomplished good results, along all lines. In 1921 it handled 42 burglaries; 
in 1928, 398; in 1921 it handled 8 murders; in 1928, 41; in 1921 it handled 
18 robberies; in 1928, 124; in 1921 it handled 590 thefts; in 1928, 755. 

Especial mention should be made of automobile recoveries, as they pre- 
dominate. In 1921 it recovered 630 automobiles, while in 1928 it recovered 
1882 

The greatest development in any department has been in that of the 
finger print, as it has kept well along the lines of advancement of the Inter- 
national Association of Identification, of which it is a member. In 1921 it 
handled 1041 subjects, while in 1928 it handled 2022, aside from generally 
keeping up with a number of exchanges, finger-printing thousands of local 
violators, carding and indexing them. 

The Policemen's Burial Fund Association was inaugurated in 1921. It 
borrowed enough money to bury its first member. Today it has $50,000.00 
in banks, accumulated by membership dues and annual balls. 

The present incumbent in office has been on the Police Force since Oc- 
tober 2nd, 1911. He was appointed Chief of Police on January 11th, 1923. 

Many interesting pages could be written, and hours of time devoted to 
outlining the achievements of the Police Department during the past eight 
years, but suffice it to say that the principal feature is that it has sprung as 
first said, from the makings of a department into one of importance not only 
in itself but in the entire Southwest. 



Page 49 




CITY MANAGER 
DEPARTMENT 



City IsAanager Department 



By George E. Woods 




GEORGE E. WOODS 



.HE Holcombe Administration cre- 
ated the position of City Manager on 
April 18, 1921. This position was created 
in order to relieve the Mayor of a large 
amount of detail work, and coming under 
the supervision of the Manager are the 
Purchasing Department, City Market, 
City Auditorium, Censor Board and Sam 
Houston Hall. While the creation of this 
position was an experiment by Mayor 
Holcombe, eight years of operation of 
these various departments under the juris- 
diction of the City Manager has clearly 
demonstrated that the tax payers have 
been saved a large amount of money by 
the operation of these departments under 
one head; and further, that all of these 
departments can be operated more successfully and managed more efficiently 
under the guidance of one man, whose experience and training has been 
along business lines, and who possesses the various qualifications which are 
necessary in order to justify placement in the position of City Manager of 
Houston. 

Outside of the varied and extensive duties of the manager, as the active 
and directing head of a number of city departments, this municipal execu- 
tive renders many other services. He is continuously in consultation with 
the City Commissioners and the department heads, concerning all matters 
coming before the City Council from time to time, and recommendations 
covering business policies are continuously presented by him with each 
issue as it arises. In addition to these extensive activities he serves as a 
personal representative of the Mayor in practically all matters affecting the 
business policies of the city government. One of the most important di- 
visions of the manager's departments deals with the purchasing of all ma- 
terials and supplies necessary in the operation of the municipal corporation. 
In order to demonstrate the magnitude of this division alone, the order 
purchases and requisitions from all departments during the past year 
amounted to the vast sum of approximately $1,500,000.00, and averaged 



Page 51 



seventy-one purchase orders per day. The purchases were made at an ex- 
pense of $12,960.87. During the past year this department, in conjunction 
with the City Controller, saved the tax payers approximately $15,000.00 in 
cash discounts by the prompt payment of all bills during the ten day period. 
All purchases for the city are made on competitive bids, or competitive 
prices, quoted at the time of purchase. The City Manager has under his 
jurisdiction the City Market. There are from time to time many complex 
problems to solve relating to the policies of this market, which at the present 
time houses sixty-two tenants, and acts as a service source to curb farmers 
whose period of sales were covered by 57,282 trips to the market during the 
past year. The market has been operated at an expense of $41,882.18, while 
revenues have reached a total of $50,907.17, making a net profit of 
$9,024.99. 

The Municipal Auditorium operated during the past year at an expense 
of $24,358.95. During this period there were one hundred and ninety-two 
engagements with approximate attendance of 475,000 people. 

The Holcombe Administration established a City Garage in order to 
save money on all motor repair work on the city's 205 pieces of various 
automotive equipment, required to operate a large municipality of this kind, 
and to keep this equipment in perfect mechanical condition at all times to 
enable them to be used in active continuous service in carrying on the city's 
business. The operation of this garage provides the opportunity for all 
equipment to receive immediate attention when needing repairs; thereby 
saving the usual delay experienced in motor repair work in outside garages. 
Further than this the general wear and tear on this equipment is much less 
for the reason that they are always well oiled, properly greased, watered 
and in good condition mechanically before being used. During the year 
1928 there was an average of fifteen jobs received and attended to the 
same day. 

The Censor Board has under its direct supervision and control the 
amusement life of the city and it is held responsible at all times for the 
moral tone of the city's amusements. Censorship, as inadequate as often- 
times it is, has proven necessary. However, it prevails that censorship is a 
means to an end, that of eliminating the immoral movie, and is noticeably 
effective in the building of better audiences for the better movie. The Hous- 
ton Censor Board's standards rate very high. A brief tabulated report of the 
Secretary follows: 

Programs reviewed by Secretary 12,000 

First run movies reviewed by Secretary ' 11,000 

First run movies cut for eliminations ' ' " 2,600 

Rejected in toto .,,***'■''- 225 
Vaudeville, Plays, Road Shows, Dance Halls, Skating 

Rinks and Swimming Pools reviewed by Censor - - 1,015 

Page 52 



The Censor Board was created and is operated under a city ordinance. 
The Board is comprised of twelve members, including the chairman and 
secretary, and is appointed by the Mayor. All serve without compensation 
except the secretary, who receives a salary. Coming under the provisions 
of the ordinance creating the Censor Board are the following public amuse' 
ments: Theatres, Moving Picture Shows, Dance Halls, Amusement Parks, 
Skating Rinks, Natatoriums, or swimming pools. 

The City Manager's Department is operated with a staff of forty-one 
employees, divided as follow: Purchasing Department, three; City Audi' 
torium, nine; Sam Houston Hall, three; City Hall and Market, eighteen; 
City Garage, three; Censor Board, one, and four miscellaneous employees. 

Greater Houston today has a population of 300,000 people and in 
order for the municipal government to serve the citizenship efficiently and to 
their best interest generally it is essential that business acumen be included 
in the activities of the municipal organization. Therefore, the creation of 
the position of City Manager and the beneficial effect and successful results 
obtained by this executive have meant, among other things, the saving of 
money to the tax payer and an extension of a wholesome influence over the 
business affairs of the City Government. 



Page 53 




ENGINEERING 
DEPARTMENT 



Engineering Department 



By J. C. McVea 




J. C. McVEA 



'HE volume of work handled by the 

City Engineering Department for the 
year 1928 was larger than for any pre- 
vious year and exceeded that of 1927 by 
approximately three-quarters of a million 
dollars. The increase was occasioned prin- 
cipally by larger expenditures from the 
Drainage Bond Fund by $862,577.00, and 
by smaller increases from the Farmers 
Market Bond Fund, Bayou Improvement 
Bond Fund, North Side Sewage Disposal 
Plant Bond Fund, Sanitary Sewer Bond 
Fund, paving assessments against property 
owners, paving done by others, Gravel 
Paving Bond Fund, MacGregor Drive 
Bond Fund, and sanitary sewers con- 
structed by others. Substantial decreases 
in volume of work done out of the Waterworks Bond Fund, Roadways to 
the Turning Basin Bond Fund, Subway Bond Fund, Macadam Paving Bond 
Fund, and sanitary sewers constructed by others outside the City are noted. 

In building construction the city established a new record for permit 
valuations of $35,319,503.00. Houston maintained her position of first in 
Texas and in the South for the third and second consecutive years, respec- 
tively, and advanced from seventeenth place in the Nation, which she held 
in 1927, to sixteenth place in 1928. The F. W. Dodge Corporation report 
lists Houston as one of the five cities in the United States on its "honor 
roll;" that is, cities which each month of the year had permit valuations of a 
million dollars or more, and that registered an increase of twenty per cent 
or more over the previous year. These cities are Washington, Atlanta, Bal- 
timore, Cleveland, and Houston. The ranking seventeen cities in the Na- 
tion, in order of building permit valuations in 1928, are; New York City, 
Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Boston, Cleveland, Washing- 
ton, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Baltimore, San Francisco, Yonkers, 
Newark, Houston, and Seattle. Of the fifteen cities ranking Houston in 
building construction, eight have smaller valuations than in 1927, while 
seven show gains. 



Page 55 




Photographs of the official opening of the new Franklin Street Underpass, connecting 
Downtown Houston and Navigation Boulevard 



The forces of the Engineering Department cooperated in the erection of 
Sam Houston Hall and Hospitality House, which were constructed for the 
purpose of accommodating the National Democratic Convention, which met 
in Houston in June, 1928. 

The year 1928 brought about two small extensions of the city's area, 
aggregating 0.073 square mile and 0.8 mile of platted streets. The total 
area now within the city's boundaries is 68.7811 square miles, with a mile- 
age of platted streets of 910.587. The total length of the City's boundary 
line is now 49.12 miles, and the extreme diagonal distance across the City 
from Clinton Island to the west side of Memorial Park is 13.42 miles. The 
maximum distance east and west and north and south is 10.56 and 7.8 miles 
respectively. 

Under the law passed by the Fortieth Legislature giving cities jurisdic- 
tion over the platting of contiguous territory, the City Engineer, as a mem- 
ber of the City Planning Commission's committee on approval of plats, 
approved during the year 1928 fourteen plats outside of the City, having an 
aggregate area of 3.412 square miles, with 14.585 miles of platted streets. 
Inside the City twenty plats, aggregating 1.308 square miles, with a platted 
street mileage of 9.134 miles, were approved. 

Sidewalk construction by property owners under permits issued aggre- 
gated 840,602 square feet and that constructed by property owners in new 
additions aggregate 334,397 square feet, or a grand total of 1,174,999 
square feet, or the equivalent of 55.6 miles of sidewalks four feet in width. 
The total length of combined curb and gutter construction, exclusive of that 
in connection with street paving, aggregated approximately five miles. 

The total operating expense of the Engineering Department in the va- 
rious budget accounts was as follows: 

Engineering Department Proper $152,457.65. 

Operation of Sewage Pumping and Disposal Plants $89,595.37. 

Maintenance and Operation of Sanitary Sewers $63,069.41. 

Repairs to Paved Streets $77,503.47. 

Repairs to Bridges $35,661.23. 
The total revenues received by the Department were $57,257.58, an 
increase of $2,203.69 over the year 1927. These revenues accrued from the 
following items: Building permit fees $27,236.70; Surveys for the public 
$3,056.75; plumbing permit fees, $19,028.00; other revenues, $7,736.13. 

The total number of permits issued by the Engineering Department was 
20,570, an increase of 2,443 over the year 1927. This total was made up of 
5,648 building permits, 4,194 plumbing permits, 3,011 drain-laying permits, 
1,627 sidewalk permits, 4,869 street opening permits, 185 surveys, and 
1,036 miscellaneous. 

Work done by the drafting room forces covers much miscellaneous work 

Page 57 




Houston's streets now assure the motorist comfort, convenience, and the maximum of safety 



and the completion of the following drawings: Construction maps, 139; bid 
tabulations, 174; profile and alignment maps, 277; City sectional maps, 20; 
total maps of all kinds, 610. 

In addition to the handling of the routine work of the Engineering De- 
partment, the preparation of plans and specifications for all engineering work 
and the supervision of construction thereof, the Department maintains all 
steel and concrete bridges, hard surface pavements, storm and sanitary sewer 
systems, and operates nineteen sewage pumping plants, five sewage disposal 
plants, one sludge dewatering plant, and one waterworks pumping plant. 

The city's outstanding accomplishment during the past two years, which 
has now been brought to practical completion, is a system of roadways con- 
necting the Port Terminal facilities with the business and warehouse dis- 
tricts of the city, at a cost to the city, the property owners, Harris County, 
and the various railroads cooperating of more than five millions of dollars. 

These improvements consist of one wide paved main thoroughfare on 
each side of the upper Houston Ship Channel, with other thoroughfares 
serving as convenient connections across the channel and tying in the vari- 
ous wharves to the main arteries. 

The main highway on the south side of the Ship Channel is known as 
Navigation boulevard, while that on the north side is called Clinton drive. 
Navigation boulevard connects with Franklin avenue at the St. Emanuel 
street intersection. Franklin avenue leads to the business district of the city 
and crosses Main street two blocks south of the Ship Channel. 

Clinton drive will serve principally to give easy connection between the 
wharves and the cotton compresses, warehouses, and manufacturing plants 
on the north side. 

The most westerly connection between the main thoroughfares is pro- 
vided by Marsh and Hill streets, crossing the channel on the old Hill street 
bridge. Hill street has recently been paved as a link in the thoroughfare 
system. Marsh street is now a narrow paved ctreet which is to be widened 
and repaved to complete the project. 

The most easterly connection is provided by Wayside drive, South Har- 
bor drive and 69th street bascule bridge, all of which were completed about 
a year ago just above the Turning Basin at the head of the 30-foot channel. 

About midway between the Hill street and Wayside connections is 
Lockwood drive, an entirely new street now being paved and which crosses 
the Ship Channel by means of the newly constructed vertical lift Lockwood 
drive bridge. 

South Harbor drive serves to connect the various south side wharves 
and Ship Channel industries to the main thoroughfares. 

Seventy-fifth street, which is now being paved from Harrisburg road to 
Wharf No. 3, will serve not only as a connection between the wharves, 

Page 59 




Exterior and interior views of the North Side Disposal Plant 



South Harbor drive and Navigation boulevard, but will also connect these 
thoroughfares with Canal street and Harrisburg road, both important ar- 
teries in the eastern section of the city. 

Navigation Boulevard from the underpass at Commerce avenue to Way 
side drive, and Clinton drive from Harbor drive to Lockwood drive, have 
a right of way width of 1 20 feet. 

Navigation boulevard from Wayside drive to 77th street and Wayside 
drive from Navigation boulevard to 69th street bridge have a single brick 
paved roadway 60 feet wide on an 80-foot right of way. 

Clinton drive from Hill street to Lockwood drive, when completed, 
will have a 52-foot paved roadway. That section from Hill street to Bring- 
hurst street is now completed. 

Seventy-fifth street is now being paved with brick. 

South Harbor drive has a brick paved roadway. 

Lockwood drive has a 120-foot right of way on which is being con- 
structed two 22-foot brick paved roadways, separated by a 16-foot es- 
planade. 

Franklin avenue from Chartres street to Louisiana street is paved with a 
2-inch asphaltic surface on 6-inch concrete base while the block from Char- 
tres to the west end of the underpass is now being paved with brick. 

Clinton drive from the Public Belt railroad underpass to Galena, and 
McCarty street from Clinton drive to Market Street road, were paved by 
Harris County. That section of Clinton drive from the Public Belt under- 
pass to McCarty street is 56 feet in width and all other sections are 20 feet 
in width. 

Clinton drive passes underneath two double tracks of the Southern Pa- 
cific Railway, Galveston Division, and under two main leads of the Public 
Belt railway by means of separate structures near each other, thus econ- 
omising in excavation for the approaches. 

Another underpass separates the grade of South Harbor drive and the 
Southern Pacific Railway, Galveston Division, main line near the South 
Side Wharves. 

The roadways included in this project aggregate 16,181 miles. 

One of the major projects of the year was the construction of the Farm- 
ers Market which is located on an 8-acre tract of land bounded by Texas 
avenue, Smith street, and Preston avenue, and thru which Buffalo Bayou 
originally made a sharp "S" curve. 

The bayou channel was straightened and the sides below water level pro- 
tected by sheet steel pile bulkheads on each side, maintaining a 50-foot clear 
channel. The old channel has been filled and the market constructed over 
the reclaimed area and over portions of the new channel. 

The market was constructed to provide proper facilities thru which the 

Page 61 




Wide paved thoroughfares and concrete bridges greet the motorist throughout Houston 



citizens may purchase the products fresh from the farms and gardens of the 
surrounding territory and direct from the farmers themselves, and to enable 
the farmers to sell at retail to the housewives at a reasonable price, without 
contributing to the support of the middleman, and to avoid the necessity of 
selling to dealers in bulk. 

The use of the sidewalks around the City Hall for the display and sale 
of farm products, which has been practiced for many years, has long since 
become unsatisfactory, unsanitary, and a source of serious traffic congestion. 
The space underneath the market floor, when completely filled in, to- 
gether with a paved area west of the channel, will accommodate approx- 
imately twelve hundred customers' cars. 

Two concrete approach slabs are provided, one for pedestrian customers, 
and one for the farmers' entrance. 

The total area covered by the entire structure is 1 30,000 square feet, of 
which the approaches comprise 15,000 square feet. The area of the main 
slab under shed roof is 78,164 square feet. 

A brief statement of the additions made to the city's utilities and facili- 
ties by construction and by extensions of the city limits during the period 
1921 to 1928, inclusive, is given below: 

Six garbage incinerators were constructed and one added by city limit 
extension. 

The mileage of storm sewers was increased from 57.992 to 136.892 
miles, or 136 per cent. 

The mileage of sanitary sewers was increased from 174.429 to 483.031 
miles, or 177 per cent. 

The mileage of paved streets was increased from 262.37 to 716.964 
miles, or 173 per cent. 

The North Side Sewage Disposal plant has been enlarged and remodeled, 
increasing its capacity to seventeen and a half million gallons a day, and 
new equipment installed in the sludge dewatering plant, providing a ca- 
pacity of five and a half tons of fertiliser in 24 hours. 

Three sewage disposal plants have been taken over by the city thru city 
limit extensions. Ten sewage pumping plants have been constructed, and 
four acquired by extensions of the city limits. 

Waterworks improvements, consisting of five new wells, reservoirs, and 
new pumping equipment, increasing the capacity at central waterworks 
plant to forty-five million gallons daily; the construction of a water pumping 
plant with three deep wells at Scott street; construction of deep wells and 
storage at the Heights station, and the building of a new water pumping 
station at the West End plant, and two pumping plants acquired by the 
extension of the city limits, with the construction of 76.5 miles of water 
mains from 4 inches to 20 inches in diameter, and the addition of 44.8 miles 

Page 63 




Mile after mile of concrete — where once zvas dirt 



of mains by City limit extensions, constitute the increase in the waterworks 
during the period. The above water main extensions provide an increase in 
the mileage of 85 per cent. 

During the eight-year period new bridges to the extent of $2,152/ 
676.00, subways and underpasses valued at $779,540.00, water reservoirs 
with a value of $394,480.00, wharves with a value of $412,807.00, ag- 
gregating a total of $3,779,504.00, have been designed and constructed un- 
der the supervision of the Engineering Department. 




Views of Houston's new, ultra modern, City Market 



Page 65 



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Page 66 




LEGAL 
DEPARTMENT 



Legal Department 



By Sewall Myer 




SEVVALL MYER 



OUSTON'S Legal Department is a 
branch of the city government of 
great importance, and has performed its 
functions in a creditable manner. The 
present administration completely re'OP 
ganiz;ed and perfected this department, 
and the legal organization now consists of 
the city attorney, one assistant city attop 
ney in charge of the Legal Department at 
the City Hall; one assistant city attorney, 
who renders service as prosecutor in 
the Corporation Court, and one legal 
stenographer. 

During the past 8 years the work of 
this department has been varied and ex' 
tensive. The department has written 
scores of public improvement contracts, 
each of which necessitated the preparation of several bonds; has prepared 
a large number of general contracts, many deeds, leases, releases, and in 
short, has prepared all legal documents and papers pertaining to the city. 

In addition to prosecuting many thousands of cases in the Corporation 
Court and advising the Police Department on all matters thereto as well as 
co-operating with the Fire Commissioner and Fire Marshal in eliminating 
and preventing fire hazards, this department has handled practically all the 
bond matters for the city. 

In addition, it has examined and approved all plumbers' permit bonds. 

It has conducted all hearings before the Civil Service Commission, and 
practically all paving hearings before the City Council. 

In addition to all of which, this department has handled without outside 
help and at no additional expense to the city a great number of cases in all 
of the courts extending from the Justice Court to the Supreme Court of 
Texas, and the United States Federal Court, and has been unusually sue 
cessful in the results obtained therein. 

With the rapid expansion of the city and its great growth the necessity 
of opening new streets and widening older ones has caused the Legal Depart' 



Page 67 



ment to be called upon to do a great deal of work in the filing and prosecu- 
tion of condemnation proceedings. 

All the duties incumbent on an office lawyer are placed upon the Legal 
Department of the city. All construction contracts and contracts of every 
nature in which the City of Houston is involved, are prepared by this de- 
partment, as are all ordinances and resolutions for the City Council. With 
the widening, extension and opening of streets, and with the extension of 
the Park Department the city purchases a great deal of land, and the exami- 
nation of abstract and rendering opinions on titles consumes no inconsider- 
able amount of time. 

Some of the other duties of the department are the examination of ab- 
stracts, the preparation of all the ordinances, resolutions, motions, and re- 
ports. The members of the Legal Department also act as legal advisors to 
all the city officials in their official capacity. 

The City Council refers all claims asserted against the city to the Legal 
Department for an opinion and report, and also refers all matters in which 
any question of a legal nature is in anywise involved. This department pre- 
pares all franchises granted by the city to public service corporations, rail- 
ways, corporations and individuals, approves all bonds of any nature ex- 
ecuted to the city, and handles all litigation in which the city is a party, 
plaintiff or defendant. 

The court work involves the preparation and trial of cases in the United 
States Courts, State District Courts, County Courts and Justice Courts, and 
in all the appellate courts. The litigation of the past several years has been 
heavy and has involved a number of important cases. 

In addition to all of the duties above mentioned the Legal Department 
prepares the election proceedings, and conducts a heavy general correspon- 
dence thruout the State and Nation. 

The duties of the Legal Department involve a vast and comprehensive 
amount of individual and co-ordinated effort. 



Page 68 




HEALTH 
DEPARTMENT 






Health Department 



By Dr. A. H. Flickwir 



(^711 A )ITH the rapid growth of a city a 
<v/L/ public health department takes on 




DR. A. H. FLICKWIR 



an added importance, and Houston's 
health department has kept pace with the 
progress of the city in other respects. The 
activities of this department now touch 
the lives of many thousands of persons an- 
nually, in a multitude of ways. 

The result has been that the death rate 
in Houston has been held to a very low 
figure. Dr. A. H. Flickwir, City Health 
Officer, says in his last report the death 
rate for last year was 1 1 , while the infant 
mortality rate will probably go as low as 
76, which means the number of babies 
which die under one year of age out of 
each 1000 born. 

Within the last eight years one of the important things done for public 
health was the construction of the Jefferson Davis Hospital, a city-county 
institution. Prior to that Houston had made no provision for its indigent 
poor, except an old frame building given the city by the Federal Govern- 
ment, after abandonment of the training camp at Camp Logan. The building 
was in no way modern, leaked and was wholly unfit to house the well, let 
alone the sick. 

It now maintains the Jefferson Davis Hospital with 1 50 beds, thorough- 
ly modern in every respect, and on the staff of physicians there are the most 
eminent practitioners in the city, giving freely of their services to the relief 
of the poor and sick. The city has also made provisions for enlargement of 
the hospital and funds have been provided through a bond issue. 

Another great improvement is the elimination of unsightly and unhealth- 
ful dumps in the city, where formerly were dumped great piles of the city's 
refuse. At the beginning of 1921 the city had two incinerators of 50-ton 
capacity, and during the year removed 42,966 tons of garbage. 

In 1928 the city had five incinerators, of 10 units, with 320 tons ca- 
pacity, and has provided fund for another incinerator of 240 tons capacity. 



Page 69 




Viezvs of the various divisional ivork of the Health Department 



In 1928 the garbage department collected 140,306 tons of garbage, at a 
cost of $1.40 per ton as compared to $1.90 eight years before. 

Within the last eight years several new divisions have been added to the 
city health activities, of vast importance to the city. 

One is the creation of the division of rodent extermination, made neces' 
sary because Houston had become a world port and there was great danger 
of infectious diseases being imported to the city through the port. 

Another division was that of mosquito control, which has succeeded in 
eliminating from the city the disease carrying breeds of mosquitoes. 

Another division established is that of industrial hygiene, for the inspec 
tion of industrial plants, which has done much to conserve the health of the 
workers of the city. 

A division of sanitation has also been established, which has charge of 
the enforcement of city ordinances regarding the sewer connections and san- 
itary plumbing in the homes of the city. 

The Health Department has established close contact with the United 
States Department of Public Health and volunteer health associations and 
spreads health information by broadcasting over the radio and through the 
daily newspapers. 

The medical inspection in the city schools and the department of school 
nursing in the city is one of the best in the South. 

The city maintains a laboratory which makes thousands of examinations 
of milk and other food products annually and has done much to add to the 
health of the city. It has a milk inspection department which has made vast 
progress the last few years and to this is largely due the lessening of infant 
mortality. 

In 1923 the city's first meat inspection ordinance was passed and a vet- 
erinary department established. Prior to that time the people had had no 
assurance the meat slaughtered locally was wholesome or healthful. 

The following statistics give some idea of the amount of work done by 
the Health Department during the last year : 

^ Number of visits by city physicians to poor 4,709 

Number of calls made at city physicians 2,251 

Number of prescriptions filled free 32,602 

Total number of laboratory examinations made 26,010 

Total number of food inspections. 50,834 

Total fines collected by Food Department $ 745 

Inspections of dairy farms 3,877 

Cows tested for tuberculosis 12,171 

Inspections made by Sanitary Department 24,906 

Number of lots on which weeds were cut 8,000 

Total number of meat and slaughter house inspections 5,982 

Total number of rats exterminated 2,130 

Number of patients admitted to Jefferson Davis Hospital 4,394 

Number of operations performed 1,598 

Total number of clinical patients 21,175 

Number tons garbage removed 140,306 

Page 71 




Top picture shows the Mosquito Control Division at ivork — at the bottom is one of the 
members of the Industrial Hygene Division on call 




A fezv of the daily tasks of Houston's Health Departi 




PARK 
DEPARTMENT 



Par\ Department 



By C. L. Brock 



(Zy&& ^HETHER a city gets the name of 




C. L. BROCK 



being a good city to live in de- 
pends to a great extent on its park system 
and Houston, during the past eight years, 
has created a worthy name for itself by 
the acquiring and improving of parks. 
The improvements have been such that 
the Department of Commerce and Labor, 
in a recent report, makes a very favorable 
comment on the parks of Houston, com- 
paring this city very favorably with a 
number of the larger cities of the country. 

Eight years ago the total park area 
was only slightly over 600 acres, while 
today there are over 2,500 acres devoted 
to parks and playgrounds. Eight years 
ago there were practically no improve- 
ments in the parks, while today many of them are improved. 

Hermann Park was a raw piece of woodland while today Hermann 
Park is known far and wide over the country as one of the best designed, 
most useful and most interesting parks in the United States. In this park 
alone, during the last eight years, many roads have been built, surfaces 
graded and drainage installed. 

In this park there has been established a Municipal Golf Course, which 
is known as one of the best. It is open the entire 12 months of the year and 
is played on by more than 100,000 persons annually. It has a complete 
watering system and all conveniences necessary to help for the players 1 
comfort. 

Another feature established in this park, by the Holcombe administra- 
tion, is the zoological garden, which is known throughout the land as one 
of the premier zoological gardens of America. While it is not the largest in 
size and number of specimens, the plan for the garden was worked out from 
the ground up, and if carried to completion, will serve for a city at least 
five times the size of our present city. 

The large aviary in the zoo is known as one of the best and has been 
copied by a number of zoos. The artificial trees in the aviary, built of re- 



Page 75 




Scenes in Hermann Park Zoo to delight both the old and young 



inforced concrete, are so nearly perfect, as to defy close inspection. The 
waterfall is a good representation of West Texas lava rock. The sea 
lion pool, costing $5,000.00, also constructed of reinforced concrete, is a 
faithful reproduction of the stratified rock of the Texas-Mexico border and 
it is the only sea lion pool, so far known, in America, that has both a pool 
of salt water and a pool of fresh water. 

On account of the mildness of the climate in this region and the method 
of handling wild animals in our zoological garden, we have been most suc- 
cessful in the breeding of jungle birds and beasts and since the establishment 
of the zoo, there have been raised to maturity; 15 lions, one leopard, one 
monkey, two zebus, 15 African wild sheep, two Karakul sheep, eight 
wolves, one bufFalo, one guan, two kangaroos, four Vulturine guinea 
fowls and numerous other specimens, such as deer, pheasants, etc. 

The building of the Miller Outdoor Theatre, at a cost of more than 
$50,000, from funds given to the city by the late Jesse Miller, is one of the 
outstanding improvements in the park. Thousands gather here to listen to 
Municipal Band concerts and other public entertainments. 

It is pleasing to know that the entrance to Hermann Park, designed in 
1914 by the late George E. Kessler, is even after these years and the increase 
in automobile traffic, completely successful in the handling of this increased 
traffic at the intersection of the Park and Main boulevard. 

In this entrance scheme and just inside of the park, there has been 
erected by the citizens of Houston and Texas, what is considered a very 
heroic statue of General Sam Houston. 

Another feature established in Hermann Park, which should not be over- 
looked, is the Rose Garden where more than two thousand rose bushes of 
nearly one hundred varieties furnish flowers for the inspection of all those 
who care to visit the garden. 

It should not be overlooked that during this administration, there has 
been acquired one hundred and thirty-three acres as an extension to this 
park, all of which has been cleared of underbrush and on a part of this 
extension, three new baseball diamonds have been built. 

Three tennis courts were built in Hermann Park during this period and 
they are played on daily, unless bad weather interferes. More than five miles 
of bridle paths have been constructed in this park and they are continually 
used by riders. 

Memorial drive planted to live oaks, in memory of the boys who lost 
their lives in the World War, there being one tree dedicated to each soldier 
with a proper bronze tablet with the name of the soldier to which the tree 
is dedicated, is destined to be one of Houston's most interesting drives. This 
drive is a part of the Outer Belt Road system and during the past eight 

Page 77 




Modern buildings, flowers and nature's wonders as found in Houston's Parks 



years, ornamental boulevard lights have been placed along the drive the en- 
tire distance of two miles. 

A Natural History Museum now housed in a small building in the zoo 
enclosure, should become one of our most interesting features, as it will con- 
tain mounted specimens of Texas wild life in addition to such specimens as 
die in the z,oo and also will contain an herbarium with a complete collection 
of the native plants of Harris County and of Texas with other interesting 
and economic plants of the world. 

The greatest increase in area during the past eight years has been in the 
acquisition of Memorial Park, being the grounds used by the Government 
to train the men from Illinois into soldiers for the World War. This tract 
consisting of 1503 acres, contains some of the finest native forest trees and 
woodland in this vicinity. Little has been done for the improvement of this 
property and outside of the establishment of a golf course, picnic grounds, 
a botanical garden and a nursery, little should be done to destroy the native 
trees. 

The nursery has been started in a small way and is now furnishing 
thousands of trees and shrubs for beautifying other parks and parkways. 

Park expenditures in 1919 for all expenses were $16,859.75. This has 
been increased by very liberal allowances each year by the present ad- 
ministration until the 1928 expenditures were $229,413.14. These figures 
are given simply to illustrate the interest that has been shown by the ad- 
ministration in the parks and their appreciation of the value of parks to a 
modern city. 

Eight years ago there were no Bayou drives and very little interest 
was taken in our water courses, because as a rule they were lined with tin 
can dumps and being the most broken and roughest ground within the city 
limits, they were of very little value for building sites, but with the con- 
struction of drives along these water courses and the improving of the land 
between the drive and the streams as parkways, our cheapest lands are now 
becoming the most valuable and with liberal foresight the administration 
has gone ahead and secured all available frontage that more Bayou drives 
may be built. 

Nothing illustrates these statements better than the changes that have 
taken place along Buffalo drive between the new civic center and Shep- 
herd drive. White Oak Bayou and Brays Bayou are being transformed in . 
the same way. 

Many new and valuable park sites have been secured, including the 
gift of one hundred and eight acres by the H. F. MacGregor Estate, known 
as MacGregor Park. 

Irvington Park is another valuable addition of park property amount- 
ing to forty-two acres, located on the North Side in a rapidly developing 

Page 79 




Random spots of beauty that emphasize the development of Houston's Park area 



section and where such a park is badly needed. This park has been partly 
improved and plans are made for future development. 

Another park recently purchased is Magnolia Park, of thirty-four acres, 
located near Magnolia Park Addition in the territory where such a park is 
badly needed. 

Charlton Park of nearly six acres was acquired by the annexation of 
Park Place and with the buildings and swimming pool, makes a very valu- 
able playground. A new tennis court has just been completed in this park. 

Cherryhurst Park was purchased by the present administration and is 
a very complete playground which has been further improved by adding a 
new limestone tennis court. 

Martha Fleming Park in Southampton, of two and one-half acres, was 
recently acquired by gift from E. H. Fleming and has been completely im- 
proved as a neighborhood playground. 

Peggy Park, a two-acre tract on Almeda Road, was given by the H. F. 
MacGregor Estate and has been developed as a beauty spot. 

Milroy Park is another park that was acquired during the past eight 
years, being formerly the Heights Junior High School property. This has 
been developed into a fenced neighborhood playground. 

Hennessy Park, on the North Side, has also been improved by being 
made into a fenced neighborhood playground. 

Root Square, our only downtown square, was given to the city by heirs 
of the Root Estate and has been completely developed as a neighborhood 
playground. 

In addition to all of these many of the parks have been improved by the 
adding of tennis courts, baseball grounds, the planting of shrubbery and the 
building of flower beds. 

It is impossible in the space allowed to the Park Department to fully 
tell of the many activities carried on and of the improvements made in the 
parks during the past eight years, and to tell of all that has been done would 
take a book fully as large as this, but enough has been told to show that the 
improvements and developments have kept pace with the city as it has 
progressed in all other lines. 



Page SI 




Scenes and buildings in Hermann Park, where every Houstonion may find 
pleasure and relaxation 



PARKS OWNED BY THE CITY OF HOUSTON, 1928 

Area In 
Name— Sq. Ft. 

Bute Point 7gg 

Peggy Point 450 

Brashear Point 150 



Total Acres 32 

Acres 

Memorial Forest Park 1,503.00 

Hermann Park 545.12 

MacGregor Park 108.00 

Cleveland Park 72.93 

Stude Park * 42.39 

Irvington Park 42.00 

East End Park 34.57 

Woodland Park 26.03 

Jim Hogg Park 23.41 

White Oak Park 23.16 

Sam Houston Park 20.43 

Eastwood Park 10.77 

Emancipation Park (Col.) 10.00 

Charlton Park 5.87 

Elisabeth Baldwin Park 5.00 

Carter Park 5.00 

Settegast Park 4.14 

John Marshall School Park 4.00 

City Greenhouse 6? Nursery 3.52 

MacGregor Parkway 5.70 

Riverside Park 4.00 

San Jacinto School 3.00 

Proctor Plasa 2.77 

Martha Fleming Park 2.50 

Peggy Park 2.13 

Milroy Park 2.00 

Cherryhurst Park 1.88 

Root Square 1.43 

Martha Hermann Square 1.43 

Hennessy Park 1 .40 

Riverside Tennis Park 1.05 

Buffalo Parkway 81.50 

White Oak Parkway 7.94 

Memorial Parkway 1 3.73 

Sabine Park 3.00 



38 Parks, Acres 2,625.12 

STATEMENT OF PARK EXPENDITURES— 1921-1927 
Year Pay-Rolls Maintenance Dept. Impts. Total 

1921 $43,512.45 $8,602.82 $2,255.21 $54,370.48 

1922 48,648.41 33,553.71 15,411.53 97,613.65 

1923 54,010.60 17,554.58 33,757.65 105,322.83 

1924 89,836.00 31,964.00 92,808.39 214,608.39 

1925 108,425.00 40,460.00 67,115.00 216,000.00 

1926 1 19,220.00 48,000.00 26,000.00 193,220.00 

1927 120,690.00 54,310.00 25,000.00 200,000.00 

1928 140,500.00 59,500.00 35,000.00 235,000.00 



NOTE — 1928 is appropriation, not expenditures. 



Page 83 




RECREATION 
DEPARTMENT 



Recreation Department 



By Miss Corinne Fonde 



l^r^ /? "jHILE the coming of great sky 




MISS' CORINNE FONDE 



scrapers and the tremendous de- 
velopment of industrial and commercial 
concerns have made of Houston an in' 
creasingly good place in which to ma\e a 
living, other forces have been at work 
simultaneously to keep it an increasingly 
good place in which to ma\e a life. 

The Recreation Department is one of 
the latter, its service being that of offer' 
ing pleasurable and healthful opportuni- 
ties of expression in the leisure hours to 
all of the city's people, regardless of age, 
race, sex, creed, condition in life or spe- 
cial interest. 

Prior to 1921, this service was not a 
full fledged department of city govern- 
ment, but rather a little bureau of the Houston Foundation. 

January 1, 1921, the Recreation Department was created by ordinance 
a full fledged department of the city government. For this accomplish- 
ment all credit is due the citizens who pioneered in this field, the Playground 
and Recreation Association of America for the services of L. H. Weir, its 
director of special studies, and the city administration for passing such an 
ordinance. 

At this same time the Recreation Association consolidated with Hous- 
ton Community Service, forming the Houston Recreation and Community 
Service Association, which organisation has since steadfastly worked prac- 
tically as one body with the Recreation Department — Officers: R. W. 
Wier, President; Mrs. L. A. Freed, Vice-President; Max Bently, Secretary; 
Miss Florence Sterling, Treasurer. 

The City Council gave an appropriation for the first series of municipal 
concerts following the world war and increased the appropriation for car- 
rying on the department's regular program. The School Board granted an 
appropriation for carrying on physical education and summer playgrounds 
in schools, the Park Board furnished facilities and caretakers on park play- 



Fag*? 85 




The work of the Recreation Department has been unusually successful — because 
it has been made unusually interesting 



grounds and the Association successfully solicited contributions and mem- 
berships — many of which came from communities where the work was 
carried on. 

The work was organised under five divisions, each with an active com- 
mittee of interested citizens — Physical Education and Play, Community 
Athletics, Community Drama and Pageantry, Community Organisation 
and Community Music. 

In 1922 the Houston Amateur Baseball Federation and Junior Public 
Schools Athletic League were organised. 

The following year the activities of the department were augmented by 
the addition of a director of the joint divisions of Drama and Neighbor- 
hood Organisation. At this time headquarters were moved to the City 
Auditorium and the old banquet hall of the auditorium used as a munici- 
pal gymnasium. Tennis courts, horseshoe courts and football fields were 
opened as well as the Miller Outdoor Theatre; the revival of Sunday after- 
noon municipal concerts; marble tournaments; horseshoe pitching tourna- 
ment, and many other feature recreational efforts. 

During 1924 and 1925 the work of the department continued to ex- 
pand. 

Among the new ventures in 1926 were: a series of eight organ con- 
certs; the Houston Recreational Leaders Institute with 450 students en- 
rolled; a baseball school for boys; organisation of a students league, etc. 

In the Industrial Athletic Division there were 80 baseball teams, 60 in 
basket ball, 30 in volley ball, 24 in playground ball and 10 in football. Total 
participants numbered 103,516. 

At the close of 1927 a comparison of the growth of the work of the 
department over the past four years, showed an increase of 96%, accom- 
plished on a total budget increase of 35%. During this year the Park De- 
partment gave to the Recreation Department two fenced playgrounds, two 
new baseball diamonds, nine tennis courts, several basket ball courts and 
playground ball diamonds and temporary storerooms. 

The year just closed naturally proved the department's greatest year. 
Total attendance in all department activities was 777,687. 

Outstanding gains in the way of facilities for 1928 were: Recreation 
Club House on Buffalo drive, opposite Sam Houston Park, given by Var- 
ner Realty Company and turned over to the Recreation Department by the 
City Council in August; the Park Place Municipal Swimming Pool, im- 
proved by the Park Department and operated by the Recreation Depart- 
ment as the city's first municipal pool; three new baseball diamonds in 
Hermann Park and two on school properties; lights for basket ball and vol- 
ley ball courts at Carter Park, the gift of Mr. E. L. Crain, and of Mr. H. O. 

Page 87 




Just a few scenes taken at random from the regular work of the Recreation and 
Community Service Department 



Clarke, Jr., and Mr. F. Y. Brightman of the Houston Lighting and Power 
Company. 

Facilities operated were: 

Twenty-eight summer playgrounds — four of them for negroes. 

Ten winter playgrounds — one for negroes. 

Six community centers (from two to seven months in operation) one 
for negroes. 

Four gymnasiums (one municipal, three school.) 

Park Place Swimming Pool — full time — and a church pool rented on 
Saturdays for negro playground boys and girls. Public schools gave free 
swimming periods three times a week in each of their five pools to boys 
and girls from white playgrounds. 

Fourteen baseball diamonds (nine park, two school, three privately 
owned.) 

Twenty 'two tennis courts (three on permit system, 19 on playgrounds) . 
Miller Theatre, Hermann Park (permits issued.) Other facilities used for 
the work were: Council Chamber, City Hall, for Recreation Department 
Band rehearsals, Christ Church for organ concerts, February and Novem- 
ber; auditoriums of three public libraries for children's theatres; Puppet 
Studio, Museum of Fine Arts. 

The schools discontinued practice of paying salaries of summer direc 
tors on school playgrounds but furnished, for the first time, indoor facilities 
in connection with each school playgrounds together with necessary cus- 
todian service. Street showers were extended to one additional playground. 

Playgrounds: 

Attendance on playgrounds and other events promoted by the play 
ground division, 324,139. 

More than 600 kites were entered in the 1928 kite tournament, and 
more than twice as many boats in the model boat tournament than in any 
previous year. 

Eight boys 1 workers on playgrounds, where only three had been em- 
ployed the previous summer, proved a genuine addition to the staff. 

During the Democratic Convention the department operated a play- 
ground in the morning hours to care for the children at the Municipal 
Tourist Camp in Memorial Park. 

Three hundred fifty-two volunteers gave service on the playgrounds. 

Neighborhood Organisation : 

Attendance at community centers, social recreation clubs, picnics, 
parties and social recreation activities in connection with playgrounds (not 
reported by playgrounds) 23,586. 

One hundred eighty-one volunteers gave service. 

Page 89 




Track, music, gymnasium and water sports play ait important part in the activities of the 

Recreational Department 



Supervision of social recreation on summer playgrounds included a 
daily visit of a social recreation director to each playground. 

During its three months of operation the Recreation Club House housed 
42 events. This house has been furnished by gifts from friends of the de- 
partment. A hostess lives on the premises. Maintenance is obtained from 
rentals of upper floor and of club rooms on occasions. 

One of the most outstanding developments of this division is the work 
of its volunteers and organised adult neighborhood groups. These groups 
represent all elements of each neighborhood and are keenly interested in 
and feel the responsibility for creating a wholesome recreational life in their 
neighborhoods. 

October 1 the neighborhood organisation director was given the as- 
sistance of a full time community center director. 

Athletics: 

Sixty-eight basket ball, 70 baseball, 5 football and 12 playground ball 
teams played in Recreation Department leagues this year. 

Other athletic events and activities were: Annual Industrial Track 
Meet — school boys and girls; Annual Senior and Junior Swimming Meets — ■ 
men and women, boys and girls; Annual Basket Ball Banquet — men and 
women; Annual Tumbling Tournament — boys and girls; Annual Negro 
Tumbling Tournament; bi-weekly Women's Gym Class; Tennis permits 
and operation of Park Place Municipal Pool. 

Attendance in Athletic Activities: 

Participants 72,008 

Spectators 271,840 

Both 343,848 

October 1 a full time director of women's athletics was added to the 
staff of the Athletic Division, and the policy established of using women 
referees in all women's activities in so far as competent women officials can 
be found or trained — this in line with the policy adopted by the committee 
on women's athletics of the National Physical Education Association. The 
policy of requiring medical examination of all women players was also put 
into effect. Preliminary plans have been made for the organization in the 
New Year of bowling, girls' baseball, tennis, volley ball and golf instruction, 
all activities to be made as nearly self-supporting as possible. 

Music: 

Total attendance in musical activities, outside community center and 
playgrounds: Band and Orchestra Contest, Organ Concerts, Music Jam- 
boree and Tree of Light programs; Recreation Department Band, Mexican 
Glee Club rehearsals; Municipal Orchestra rehearsals; luncheon club, school 
and convention songs; radio programs, etc., 18,232. 

Page 91 



Drama: 

Drama activities included: Three Children's Theatres in the libraries; 
Marionette Classes, Museum of Fine Arts; Adult Dramatic Club; Miscel- 
laneous rehearsals, classes, meetings, conferences; Dramatic Service Bureau; 
Annual Stunt Tournament; Annual Playground Circus; Annual Negro 
Playground Circus; story hours, dramatisations, puppet shows, circus acts 
and stories on playgrounds; and general supervision of Annual Meeting 
Demonstrations and all tableaux and dramatic effects at Tree of Light pro- 
grams. 

Attendance at dramatic activities (outside playgrounds and community 
centers), 36,841. 

Members of the 1928 Recreation Commission were Frank C. Smith, 
President; R. W. Wier, President Emeritus; Mrs. F. M. Law, Mrs. P. B. 
Timpson, Mrs. Ralph Conselyea, Mr. L. J. Tuffly. 




A 



nnual meeting and demonstration, celebrating 10//; anniversary of the Recreation 
Community Service Department. {View of entrance to City Auditorium) 



and 



Page 92 




PUBLIC SERVICE 
DEPARTMENT 



Public Service Department 



By Chas. J. Kirk 




(HAS. f. KIRK 



.HE city has had for many years su' 
pervision of public utilities through 
franchises and under general laws, but 
until the last six years it had no agency 
which devoted itself to the task of seeing 
that these franchises were carried out or 
that the interest of the public was prop- 
erly safeguarded. 

The present Public Service Commis- 
sioner was appointed to his position April 
18, 1923. His appointment marked a dis- 
tinct departure in the policy of the city 
in its dealings with utilities. By ordinance 
he has general supervisory authority over 
all public service corporations operating 
by municipal authority. It was made his 
duty to supervise the performance of their 
duty to the city and public, and he is invested with power over all fran- 
chises of every description created by the city. It was recognised that the 
public was at a tremendous disadvantage so long as there was no one specif- 
ically charged with the duty of enforcing contractural rights of the public. 
This was the paramount reason for the creation of the Public Service De- 
partment. Since the creation of this office the public has a place to which 
they can take their grievances when it believes the public utilities are not 
giving the proper service, and experience has shown that the public has 
appreciated this fact. 

Complaints of all kinds are handled by the Public Service Department. 
The department also aids the utilities by helping them to work out stand- 
ards of service, by making suggestions in remedying defects in the service. 

The six main utilities of the city represent a capital investment of some 
$75,000,000, and the total number of employes of these six utilities are ap- 
proximately 5,000. The total annual payroll of these utilities is approxi- 
mately $6,000,000. These utilities pay the city in the form of taxes 
approximately $1,500,000. 

In addition to the six main utilities the Public Service Department has 
jurisdiction over the Galveston-Houston Electric Co., known as the inter- 



Pa^ 93 



urban; the American District Telegraph Co., which is a watch and delivery 
system; the American Railway Express Co.; the Western Union Telegraph 
Co.; the Postal Telegraph Co., and all railroads; all electrical inspections; 
inspection of boilers and elevators; the license and bonding of rent cars, 
trucks and transfer wagons; issuance of chauffeur licenses; ambulance 
licenses; airplane licenses; interurban buses and interurban jitneys; and op' 
erates a city-owned utility commonly known as the Magnolia Park Gas 
Company. 

As stated before, the present Public Service Department was created 
on April 18, 1923, and assigned to a space in the City Hall and an appro- 
priation of $10,500 made to defray the expenses for the balance of the year. 
The personnel consisted of the Public Service Commissioner and a stenog' 
rapher. In the year 1928 the budget allowance was $129,725.00 and the 
personnel consisted of 21 employes. 

In order that the public may have an idea of the growth of the utilities 
we are submitting a comparative statement for the past eight years. 



Houston Lighting and Power Company 

During 1928 there were 389,417,803 K.W.H. sold, or an increase over 
a period of 10 years of 1082%. And 82,484 meters were in service; by far 
the largest number of any city in Texas. 

The rapid expansion of the business made it necessary to install large 
turbines at the Deepwater plant. An addition of a new 50,000 K.W. tur- 
bine at this plant, to be completed this year, will give this station a total 
installed capacity of approximately 150,000 K.W., which, combined with 
the 32,500 K.W. at the Gable Street plant, will make a total of 182,500 
K.W. This will be the largest electric generating plant in the Southwest. 

The company now serves a great territory adjacent to Houston and its 
rates compare favorably with any other city of similar size. 

Houston Gas and Fuel Company 

Natural gas, for both domestic and industrial purposes, came to Hous- 
ton May 14, 1926, and has played an important part in the continued 
growth and development of the city. 

The Houston Gas and Fuel Company is the oldest artificial gas company 
in the Southwest, being organised in 1866. In 1900 this company had only 
28 miles of mains, while at the close of 1928 it had 608.16 miles of mains, 
with 48,190 consumers. 

Page 94 



The Seagraves Gas Company serves what is known as the Harrisburg 
district, and is a comparatively new company. At the close of 1928 this 
company had 36.25 miles of mains and a total of 575 meters. 

The Houston Natural Gas Company was granted a franchise to enter 
the city on July 20, 1927. 

The Magnolia Municipal Gas plant is owned and operated by the City 
of Houston under the Public Service Department. On December 31, 1928, 
a total of 3,981 meters were served from this plant, through 55.34 miles of 
mains. 

There are approximately 125,000,000 cubic feet of natural gas con' 
sumed in Houston daily by industrial and domestic users. This gas is fur 
nished by three pipe lines, known as the Houston Gulf Gas Pipe Line; 
Houston Pipe Line Company and Dixie Gulf Gas Company. 

During the past eight years Houston's telephone system has experienced 
the most rapid growth in its history. 

January 1, 1921, the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company served 
metropolitan Houston with 29,856 telephone connections. January 1, 1929, 
showed a total number of connections of 63,057, a gain of more than 
110%. To take care of this greatly increased service, four additional central 
stations have been established. That this company is looking to the future 
is evidenced by plans now being inaugurated which call for an expenditure 
of $1,500,000 for additional service and equipment during 1929. 

The Houston Electric Company plays an important part in the civic 
life of Houston. At the close of 1928 its total mileage of track and bus route 
was 187.36, as compared to 81.37 miles in 1921. The total miles covered 
by cars and busses in 1928 was 9,552,997. Approximately 56,000,000 pas- 
sengers were hauled. 

An average number of 1 200 people are employed by the company, with 
an annual payroll approximating $1,400,000. 



Page 95 




CIVIL SERVICE 
DEPARTMENT 



Civil Service Department 



Norman H. Beard 



Q: 




NORMAN H. BEARD 



iIVIL SERVICE was adopted by a 
vote of the people of Houston at an 
election held in 1913 and today the em' 
ployees of practically all of the depart- 
ments of the city government are work' 
ing under this system. 

A charter amendment creates a Civil 
Service Commission, outlines the duties of 
that body and prescribes the fundamental 
activities of the system. 

Since its inauguration civil service 
has proven entirely satisfactory and has 
resulted in a higher and better type of em- 
ployee for the city. This result is due, 
first to the rigid entrance requirements 
and, second, to the practical certainty that 
ability and faithful performance of 

duties will guarantee continued employment and eventually promotion. 
At the close of 1928 the records of the commission showed a total of 
2217 employees in the city's service of which 1583 were under Civil 
Service regulations; all employees being subject to Civil Service rules with 
the exception of the department heads, their chief clerks, and employees in 
the day labor service — these being exempted by provisions of the City 
Charter. 

In the published report of the Commission in 1921, is found the follow- 
ing figures which clearly show the departmental growth when compared 
with the present figures: 

"Out of 1358 employees, exclusive of more than 1000 connected with 
the school system, on the city's payroll at the close of 1921, there were 608 
under the Civil Service. 11 

A comparison with the figures at the close of 1928 show a considerable 
difference. These figures do not include the school system or the Navigation 
Commission, formerly the Harbor Department, as both of these municipal 
agencies have been separated from the city government and now function 
as independent bodies. 



Page 97 



At the close of 1928 out of 2217 city employees there were 1583 
under the Civil Service. 

In the year 1928 more than four thousand applications for various 
branches of the service were filed with the Commission, from which 1000 
applicants were put through examinations and 311 placed on the payrolls 
as probationary employees. 

One of the most important duties of the Commission is the holding of 
the competitive entrance examinations from time to time for the purpose of 
selecting from applicants those best equipped to perform, in an efficient 
manner, the work in various departments of the city government. These 
examinations include physical and educational tests and investigations as to 
moral character and previous experience. 

Examinations for promotions are likewise held. In examinations of a 
technical nature the department head making requisition for the employee 
assists in preparing the questions and grading the papers. All examinations 
are conducted by the director of the Commission, except physical examina' 
tions, these being conducted by the City Health Officer. More than 100 
Civil Service examinations were held during the year 1928. 

A very important function of the Civil Service is the hearing of appeals 
of employees recommended for discharge by the heads of departments. This 
is a very advantageous feature, not alone for the employee but for the 
service as well. The decision of the Commission is final, and this feature 
assures a fair and impartial trial for the employee. 

Another very important work of the commission is the checking of all 
weekly and semi-monthly payrolls of the city before they go to the Con' 
troller for payment. A particular safeguard in this feature is that only the 
correct rate of salary established by the City Council is approved; and also 
determination if the proper authority has been obtained for the placement 
of new employees. 

For both the Police and Fire Departments a merit and demerit system is 
in effect, and this plan has tended to materially increase the efficiency of 
the employees in both departments. 

The handling of the group insurance covering all city employees, 
whether under Civil Service or not, is another duty which devolves upon 
the Civil Service Commission. 

During the year 1928 there were 20 deaths and one total disability in 
the service resulting in the payment of $19,250.00 in insurance benefits 
under the group insurance contract between the insurance company and 
the city. 

During the year the Commission, with the approval of the City Council, 
created a number of new positions in the classified service. These positions 

Page 98 



covered placements in practically all city departments and were necessary 
on account of the growth of the various branches of the service. 

The Commission carefully handles all special police commissions and 
arranges all details in connection thereof. A complete record of each com' 
mission issued is maintained in the Commission's office. 

Due to the large growth of the municipal service the general office 
activities of the Commission have become more and more extensive, the year 
1928 being noted as the most active annual period in the history of the 
Commission. City Council matters, deparmental transfers, investigations, 
settlement of employees 1 death claims, municipal information, office corres- 
pondence, office records, conferences, adjustment of employees 1 debts; re- 
quests for general information concerning employees; various complaints, 
the furnishing of relief special employees account sickness or leave of ab' 
sence, the enforcement of the rules and regulations, medical records and ob- 
servation of sick employees and service letters are all a part of the con- 
tinuous routine work of the Civil Service Commission. 

Aside from his Civil Service duties the Commission's Director serves 
as editor of the City of Houston publications, of which the municipal 
Quarterly Review is the official organ of the city government. 



Page 99 




HOUSTON 
FOUNDATION 



Houston Foundation 

By Dr. J. W. Slaughter 




^jCj?EVERAL years ago the Houston 
^ — ^'Foundation was created in Houston, 

with a view at that time of creating a 

body to which persons who wanted to 

make charitable bequests of estates, might 

make them with assurance there would be 

a body of continuous perpetuity to admin' 

ister them. 

In addition, the Houston Foundation 

has general supervisory control over 

agencies to which the city grants a sub' 

sidy. It ccordinates their work and main' 

tains a close relationship with the Hous' 

ton Community Chest. 

The legal aid bureau was created in 

1925, under direction of the Houston 

■C i , • j .. i ., . DR. J. W. SLAUGHTER 

Foundation and it has wide supervisory 

control over hospital work of the city. Another work that has made vast 
progress during the last eight years is the City Free Employment Bureau. 
This bureau places thousands of persons annually. 

In 1921 it had placed in positions 12,873 persons, while in 1927 it 
placed 26,929 persons in jobs. 

The Free Legal Aid Bureau is to serve those who have small claims to 
adjust, where the amounts are so small they would not justify employment 
of an attorney, but in which an adjustment is of great importance. In 1928 
it handled 786 of these claims. This department has lately been merged 
with the City Legal Department. 

Appropriations to the Houston Foundation have been as follows: 
Year 

1921 $63,260.77 

1922 45,962.83 

1923 61,626.00 

1924 46,444.67 

1925 48,995.00 

1926 45,950.00 

1927 46,805.00 

1928 50,170.00 

Page 101 




No city is complete without facilities to properly take care of the sick. Here arc some of 
Houston's Hospitals dedicated to the unselfish so vice of the people 



The Houston Tuberculosis Hospital for the care of patients with tuber- 
culosis is located on a block of about 20 acres at the corner of Shepherd's 
Dam drive and West Dallas avenue. It is operated by the City of Houston 
with the help of an annual contribution by the Commissioner's Court of 
Harris County. It is open to tubercular patients in Houston and Harris 
County, and for all stages of the disease. It has grown rapidly. 

On December 8, 1925, there was opened a new fireproof building, the 
gift of Mrs. J. L. Autry, for the care of tubercular children. This building 
provides hospital care, and at the same time maintains an ungraded school, 
so that the children on leaving are able to resume their places in the school 
system. The capacity of this building was 30 beds, now increased to 50. 

From the opening of the hospital in May, 1918, to the beginning of the 
present administration in 1921, there had been admitted to the hospital a 
total of 185 patients. Since that time the number of patients admitted has 
been as follows: 
Year 

1922 157 

1923 192 

1924 216 

1925 213 

1926 197 

1927 190 

1928 194 

Since its opening, the Autry School has been continuously filled to its 
capacity of 30 children. From December 8, 1925, through the year 1926, 
there were 90 children admitted; in 1927, there were 63, and in 1928, 62. 
The hospital is connected with the nursing service of the Anti-Tuber' 
culosis League, which maintains a clinic as a diagnostic and admitting cen> 
ter. These nurses also carry on the follow-up work with patients discharged 
from the hospital. 



Page 103 




SOCIAL SERVICE 
BUREAU 



Social Service Bureau 



By Walter W. Whitson, Supt. 




WALTER W. WHITSON 



S THE result of important surveys 
■ sponsored by the Community Chest, 

there have been certain re-divisions of the 

field of social work. The Social Service 

Bureau which once had eight branches of 

work, now is composed of three func- 
tional departments. These departments 

represent activities which in most cities 

are sponsored by separate agencies or so- 
cieties. These departments are Family 

Work, including Relief; Public Health 

Nursing; and Social Settlements. Each 

department has a committee responsible 

for the development of that department. 
The Family Work Department cares 

for needy families. In our modern, highly 

organized social life there are many fami- 
lies who fail to make adequate or satisfactory adjustment. Various factors 
contribute to these maladjustments; lack of regular employment; friction 
between the home and school; tendency of the family to isolate itself from 
friends or church; ignorance as to where to secure medical service; or the 
deeper more serious disorganization within the family itself, leading to de- 
sertion, uncontrolled children, and perhaps mental, or moral breakdown. 
To help solve these maladjustments relating to family life is the work of 
our family visitors, or social case workers. The personnel of this department 
consists, according to our 1929 plans, of a Case Supervisor and eight case 
workers, six of whom will be responsible each for a particular district. The 
seventh deals with transient families and men and other special cases; the 
eighth is a colored worker. During 1928, our Family Work Department 
served 2,382 families, in which 7,478 individuals were represented. From 
the funds of the Social Service Bureau $11,244.00 was spent in material 
relief to these families. In addition to these funds, the workers secured from 
relatives, friends and other natural sources, about $2,000.00, which was 
used for the particular families for which it was secured. This money was 
made available by the services of the case workers. They seek to cultivate 



Page 105 




Scenes showing the zvork of the various departments of the Social Service Bureau : Day 

Nurseries, Classes in English, Public Health Nursing, Playground Activities, and Home 

Charity are some of the many services rendered 



natural responsibilities. A Community Chest gift does not relieve one of the 
duty of helping relatives, old employes or a faithful fellow church member. 

More important than the gifts of money is the service of these case 
workers. Services which, instead of helping people in their troubles, lift 
them oat of those troubles; arouses ambitions; relieves inhibitions and re' 
leases energy; creates new opportunities; converts dependent attitudes into 
independence; makes available the resources of clinic, club, legal aid bureau, 
school, library and church; and perhaps greatest of all, interprets folks to 
themselves and their families, so that they can make satisfactory adjustments 
and achieve happiness. Such service, based on carefully secured and 
analyzed information and knowledge, is what we mean by social case 
work. The number of applications coming to our Family Department are 
increasing rapidly. There is not only the increase due to the growth of the 
city but the increase caused by an appreciation of the value and importance 
of such service. In December, 1927, 473 families were looking to the Social 
Service Bureau for aid and service, whereas in December, 1928, the number 
was 542, or an increase of 15%. 

The Public Health Nursing Department has for years been a strong and 
important department of the Bureau. Beginning with bedside care of the 
sick in their own homes, this service has developed along the lines of pre 
ventive Public Health Nursing. Not only care of the sick, but health educa- 
tion to expectant mothers; instruction in keeping children well; assistance 
to the City Health Department in its campaigns against contagious disease 
and epidemic; follow up service for the various clinics of the city, making 
sure that the patients understand the physician's instructions and are able 
to carry them out — these have all become important parts of our Public 
Health Nursing Department. Last year this department cared for 4,604 
patients; the nurses made 21,258 visits. Of these visits, 9,253 were in con- 
nection with child welfare. Plans have been developed for the establish' 
ment shortly of a child health educational center in co-operation with the 
Houston Negro Hospital. Last August the field covered by the Nursing 
Department was extended to include the new additions to the city, territory 
previously served by the Harris County Chapter of the American Red 
Cross. The staff of the Public Health Nursing Department now consists of 
the supervisor and nine staff members; three of whom are Negroes. Al- 
though there were recent additions to the staff, the increased territory has 
brought an even larger increase in the amount of work. This department is 
looking forward to the time when funds will be available which will make 
possible the addition of an assistant superintendent who can give special 
attention to the increasing child welfare work and health education and 
another field nurse. The staff nurses are finding a very special field of use- 
fulness in relation to our growing Mexican population. 

Page 107 



The Social Settlements represent the third functional department of the 
Social Service Bureau. There are two settlement centers; Bethlehem for 
the colored work, and Rusk Settlement at Gable street which has now be- 
come a Mexican neighborhood. The most important activity which has been 
conducted at these centers has been the day nursery work. At the day 
nurseries working mothers leave their small children in the knowledge that 
their little ones will be safe. These children are not only given shelter and 
supervision but wholesome lunches. Those of school age are made ready and 
sent to school. Owing to the difficulties in bringing the very small children 
to the Rusk Nursery after the new freight house and tracks had been put in 
across from the settlement, a branch of Rusk Nursery was opened on Saltus 
street, a little more than a year ago. During 1928, 203 different children 
were cared for; 25,685 meals were served at the nurseries. One of the 
recently formed settlement clubs is a Nursery Parents Club. Once a month 
the parents of the Saltus Street and Rusk Nurseries are invited to stay for a 
simple supper and are led in a discussion of child care. During 1928, 477 
clubs and class meetings were held at the settlements. We anticipate a much 
larger number in 1929. A new head-resident for Bethlehem Settlement has 
been engaged, who has had much experience in group organization work 
and home economics training, and we look forward to Mothers Clubs, 
Thrift Clubs, Sewing Classes, etc., as part of Bethlehem Settlement. 

My vision for these two centers is that they shall be a point of contact 
where the best that Houston has to offer in good will, culture, opportunity, 
may be made available to the Negroes and Mexicans in our city; that club 
leaders, librarians, spiritual minded citizens may counteract the contacts 
with loan sharks, unscrupulous politicians, and the exploiters of gambling 
and vice; that there may be an opportunity for self -expression in music, in 
art, in group life; that American ideals may become a reality instead of a 
theory or a hope. 

There is one element which these three departments, Family Work, 
Public Health Nursing, Social Settlements, have in common. An element 
common to nearly all forms of social work. The value and quality of re- 
sults depend more than anything else upon the workers themselves; their 
training and personal equipment. The Public Health Nurse should be 
skilled both in her nursing technique and in her ability to secure a right 
response for her patient; the settlement worker needs to understand how 
to reach, hold, and lead her neighborhood groups; and the family case 
worker is of value not because of relief which she may distribute, but be- 
cause of her skill in understanding and her help in solving the problems of 
needy families. This means that special training must be added to person- 
ality and desire to help others. 

The Social Service Bureau relieves poverty — economic poverty; poverty 

Page 108 



of health, and poverty of spirit. When the relief of poverty is undertaken 
by the trained social workers, it is also preventive. I have referred to the 
fact that much of the time of our Public Health nurses is spent in keeping 
people well, particularly mothers and children. The activities of our two 
settlements keep boys and girls from becoming wards of the Juvenile Court. 
I know of no finer prevention than that of changing a person from a de- 
pendent to one desirous and able to be self-maintaining. While this is ac- 
complished family by family it is just as truly prevention as is legislative 
action which says no child under 14 shall work in a factory and mill. The 
Social Service Bureau recognises, however, that there are factors handicap- 
ping the individual which the individual can not overcome. These must be 
dealt with by community education and legislation. As these conditions 
are revealed in the daily contacts that we have with those who need our 
help, we shall endeavor to interpret them to those whose assistance we shall 
seek in modifying these destructive conditions. Social work through such 
agencies as the Social Service Bureau is reducing the extent and degradation 
of poverty and misery. However, the preventive character of social work is 
not reducing the need of social service, for there will always be those who 
fall behind in life's struggle. Although we may always have the poor with 
us, it is a less crushing form of poverty. Society is constantly raising the 
standard which we demand for all. Those who fail to reach that standard 
are those whom social work serves. 

Those industries which fail to pay a living wage, or which provide only 
seasonal occupation become a liability and not an asset to our city. 

The Social Service Bureau is your agent. It is your agent in modifying 
with all the knowledge available, human lives and society in the interest of 
both. It makes Houston a beUer place in which to work and live because 
those who are the misfits and unfortunate are properly cared for. The Social 
Service Bureau represents your expression of social justice and finally the 
Social Service Bureau is your expression of kindness, brotherhood and love 
to the weak and unfortunate. 



Page 109 




CITY ARCHITECT 
DEPARTMENT 



City Architect Department 



By W. A. Dowdy 



'HE Department of Architecture was 

created by the City Council in 1912, 
and while it is small, it is a department of 
importance and renders a valuable service 
to the taxpayers of Houston. 

The activities of this department con' 
sist of the preparation of plans and sped' 
fications and supervision of construction 
of buildings erected by the city. In some 
special cases, however, the City Council 
deems it advisable to procure the services 
of architects in private practice, as con- 
sulting or associate architects, and super- 
vision of work only is performed, the out- 
side architects preparing the plans and 
specifications. 

This department is under the direc 
tion of the Mayor and City Commissioners. The work handled costs the 
city 2|/2 % of the cost of the building, representing a saving of 21/2% over 
the usual cost should the work be done by outside architects. 

In addition to erection of new buildings, service is rendered all depart- 
ments in the way of handling repairs and renewal of existing buildings. In 
the pursuance of these duties, the city architect has served practically every 
municipal board in the city. 

Some idea of the wide range of work handled by this department may 
be obtained from the following list of buildings planned and supervised dur- 
ing the period from 1921 to 1928. 




W. A. DOWDY 



Year 

Erected Description of Buildings Cost 

1921 Negro Unit at T. B. Hospital $ 8,654.00 

1922 26 Frame Buildings for the School Board 32,000.00 

1922 Bowie School 42,000.00 

1923 Advanced Case Unit at T. B. Hospital 9,900.00 

1923 Primates Building at the City Zoo 1 1,755.00 

1923 Central Fire ii Police Station Building 325,189.94 

Page 111 



1924 Shelter House at Root Square 24,648.00 

1924 Jefferson Davis Hospital— Main Building 287,636.07 

1924 Fire Station Number 15 8,000.00 

1924 Fire Station Number 16 10,220.76 

1925 Jefferson Davis Hospital— Garage 7,680.00 

1925 Jefferson Davis Hospital — Nurses" Home 50,610.60 

1925 Fire Station Number 17 10,732.00 

192? North Side Library 49,760.00 

1926 Comfort Station in Hermann Park 6,631.00 

1926 Central Plant Water Works Building 1 19,498.64 

1927 Central Plant Water Works Garage 27,391.00 

1927 Stables for the Police Department 1,791.00 

1928 Nurses 1 Home at the T. B. Hospital 53,391.82 

1928 T. B. Clinic Buildings 3,756.98 

1928 Fire Station Number 19 19,298.34 

1928 Fire Station Number 2? 12,510.60 

1928 Cottage at 69th Street Bridge 3,536.00 

1928 Garage for the Street 6? Bridge Dept 1 1,300.00 

1928 Stables for the Street 6? Bridge Dept 3,000.00 

1928 Laundry Building at T. B. Hospital 7,105.00 

1929 Jefferson Davis Hospital — Power House 32,334.00 

1929 West End Sub-Police Station Building 19,577.22 

1929 Remodelling Basement of Jefferson Davis Hospital 5,065.00 



TOTAL $1,204,972.97 

PLANS PREPARED BY OTHER ARCHITECTS AND WORK 
SUPERVISED BY THE CITY ARCHITECT 

1921 Southmore School $ 72,000.00 

1922 Miller Theatre, (Gift of Mr. Austin Miller.) 46,271.00 

1928 Sam Houston Hall 166,083.79 



TOTAL $ 184,354.79 

PLANS PREPARED AND WORK SUPERVISED BY 
OTHER ARCHITECTS 

1926 Remodelling of City Auditorium $ 668,405.27 

1926 Heights Branch Library Building 47,336.72 

1927 Fire Station Number 2 83,614.00 

1926 Central Library Building 379,811.64 

1928 Fireman's Training Tower 22,172,00 

1927 Negro Hospital (Gift of J. S. Cullman) 75,000.00 

1926 Autrey Hospital (Gift of A. K. Autrey) 60,000.00 

TOTAL $1,336,339.63 



GRAND TOTAL $2,725,667.39 

Page 112 




CORPORATION 
COURT 



Corporation Court 

By Judge Lucien M. Andler 




^HE Corporation Court holds no 
terms but is at all times open for 
transaction of business in its rooms on the 
fourth floor of the Fire-Police Station. 

The Judge of Corporation Court is 
appointed by the Mayor and confirmed 
by the City Council. V^/ $" 

The court has jurisdiction within the 
limits of the City of Houston, with power 
to hear and determine all cases of viola- 
tion of ordinances of the city. All cases 
are tried in open court and no pleas of 
guilty are accepted except by the Judge — 
and all pleas must be made by offenders 
or their legal representatives. 

The Judge keeps a docket which is 

, _i n-iif. r „i /-, JUDGE LUCIEN M. ANDLER 

known as the Minutes of the Corpora- 
tion Court," in which is noted all continuances, trials, judgments, new 
trials, notices of appeals, dismissals and fines. 

The growth and development of Houston has naturally increased the 
work of this court. 

During 1928 a total of $165,639.00 in fines was assessed, which showed 
an increase of approximately 100% over the amount assessed during 1924. 

The following statements covering the period of 1928 shows the large 
amount of business handled during the past year: 

CASES FILED IN CORPORATION COURT AND HOW DISPOSED OF 
FROM JANUARY 1st, 1928, TO DECEMBER 31st, 1928 

Cases Convic- Dis- 

Month — Docketed tions missed Pending- 

January 1,963 1,309 567 87 

February 2,114 1,367 653 94 

March 2,227 1,363 781 83 

April 1,883 1,209 582 92 

May 2,161 1,334 721 106 

June 1,700 1,073 558 69 

July 1 ,496 928 461 107 

August 2,253 1,312 482 99 

September 1,886 1,095 687 104 

October 1,886 994 763 129 

November 1,424 668 657 99 

December 1,588 666 597 325 

Total 22,581 13,318 7,869 1.394 

Page 113 



FINES AND COSTS ASSESSED IN CORPORATION COURT 
AND HOW LIQUIDATED 

DURING THE YEAR 1928 





Fines 


Fines 


Time 






Month — 


Assessed 


Paid 


Served 


Appealed 


Escaped 


Jan. . . . 


. .$14,811.00 


$ 9,953.00 


$ 4,573.00 


$ 245.00 


10.00 


Feb. . . 


. . 16,548.00 


9,095.00 


6,228.00 


935.00 


200.00 


March . 


. . 18,453.00 


10,310.00 


6,220.00 


793.00 


468.00 


April . . 


.. 16,039.00 


10,128.00 


5,333.00 


200.00 


35.00 


May . . 


. . 16,265.00 


10,495.00 


5,238.00 


295.00 


197.00 


June 


. . 14,986.00 


8,835.00 


4,861.00 


615.00 


490.00 


July . . 


.. 12,321.00 


8,239.00 


3,425.00 


460.00 


15.00 


August . 


14,477.00 


9,129.00 


4,493.00 


375.00 


15.00 


Sept. . . 


.. 11,073.00 


7,274.00 


3,114.00 


370.00 


250.00 


Oct. . . . 


.. 12,512.00 


7,255.00 


4,217.00 


521.00 


330.00 


Nov. . . . 


. . 8,954.00 


4,131.00 


4,058.00 


125.00 




Dec. . . . 


. . 9,200.00 


4,666.00 


2,724.00 


190.00 


175.00 




$165,639.00 


$99,510.00 


$54,484.00 


$ 5,124.00 


2,185.00 




New 


Released by 


Released 


Released by 


On 


Month — 


Trial 


City Phy. 


by Juv. Ct. 


City Council 


Hand 


Jan 


..$ 30.00 










Feb 


90.00 










March . . 


412.00 


250.00 








April . . . 


343.00 










May . . . 


40.00 










June . . . 


170.00 




15.00 






July . . . . 


182.00 










August . 


465.00 










Sept. . . . 


60.00 




5.00 






Oct 


174.00 






15.00 




Nov 


30.00 






* 


610.00 


Dec. . . . 


130.00 








1,315.00 



$2,126.00 



$250.00 



$20.00 



$15.00 



$1,925.00 



Fines and Costs Paid $99,5 10.00 

Fines and Costs collected which were reported not liquidated in 

1927, liquidated in 1928 86.00 



Total $99,596.00 



Page 114 




ELECTRICAL 
DEPARTMENT 



Electrical Department 



By J. S. Luckie 




J. S. LUCKIE 



HE past eight years have been event- 
ful ones in the growth of the City's 
Electrical Department. It has had to keep 
pace with a double development. 

First, the remarkable development 
that has gone on in the multiplication of 
the uses of electrical devices, and 

Secondly, the tremendous growth of 
the city. 

The great development that has oc- 
curred in that department has been in the 
application to the regulation of traffic. In 
that respect the department has stood out 
in the front ranks of cities of the country. 

Eight years ago Houston had not a 
single electrical signal. But shortly after- 
wards it began experiments in the regula- 
tion of traffic by use of signals. It found them entirely successful, and quick- 
ly adopted the system, which has now grown to such large proportions. 

The system had been in vogue on a minor scale in several other cities 
prior to that time, but Houston, under Mayor Holcombe and City Elec- 
trician Clarence George, added many new features and made the service 
more convenient and practical. 

At first a signal tower was erected at Main and Capitol, from which a 
policeman operated the system. But that has been done away with and the 
system is now automatically operated throughout the entire downtown sec- 
tion from the offices of the City Electrical Department in the Central Fire 
and Police Station. A machine is set there to turn on and off the stop and 
go signals with any frequency desired. There are hundreds of these signal 
lights in the downtown section, and in addition many at dangerous cross- 
ings in outlying sections, which are operated automatically, and separate 
from the remainder of the system. 

During the last eight years the entire fire alarm system in the downtown 
section has been placed underground, and now consists of 25 miles of cables. 
During the same time its miles of open lines have grown from less than 100 



Page 115 



miles to more than 400 miles. A large part of these extensions has been 
made during the last two or three years. 

Houston now has a total of 324 fire alarm boxes scattered throughout 
the city, and 50 police call boxes, while many police electric signals cover 
the heavily policed downtown section of the city. 

While eight years ago the Department operated 12 box circuits and 
repeating instruments for flashing information to outlying fire stations it 
has increased this number to 36. 

The police patrol service is one of the interesting features of the De- 
partment. With its 60 flashlights in the police districts, police headquarters 
may, within a few minutes, summons every police officer in the city, except 
those in outlying districts. 

Besides these major activities of the Electrical Department, it does a 
world of miscellaneous work, such as installing electrical equipment in the 
parks, maintaining the lighting systems in the City Hall and helping in the 
designing of ornamental lighting systems for boulevards and streets, and 
bridges and tunnels. 

In fact within the last few years this department has jumped from one 
of comparative unimportance to a very vital one in the activities of the 
municipal government. 

The people sometime ago voted a bond issue for extension of the fire 
alarm system, and there is still remaining in that bond fund $45,000. 



Page 116 




HOUSTON SCHOOLS 



Houston Schools 



By H. L. Mills, Business Manager 



6TO 





E. E. OBERHOLTZER 



(HILE prior to 1923, the Houston 
schools were conducted as a de' 

partment of the Municipal Government, 

the city now has no official connection 

with the schools other than to collect the 

school taxes. 

The Houston Independent School 

District was created by a special act of the 

State Legislature and approved by the 

Governor of Texas on March 20th, 1923, 

and as the wording of the Legislature im' 

plies, the school district is absolutely indc 

pendent. Its government and manage 

ment is left entirely with the seven mem' 

bers of the Board of Education, who are 

elected by a vote of the people every two 

years, the elections being for four mem' 

bers one year and for three members the following year. 

Immediately after the Houston Independent School District was created 
and the Board of Education organised, a complete inventory of conditions 
was made by the Board of Education to determine the needs of the entire 
system. These needs were viewed from every angle. The types of school 
organisations the country over were studied extensively. The survey showed 
beyond a doubt that the educational facilities were not adequate and that a 
building program would have to be launched if the children of the district 
were properly cared for. At the time this survey was made it was found 
that seven thousand pupils were without desks, which of course meant that 
fourteen thousand were attending school on half day sessions. 

Therefore, the Board of Education submitted to the qualified voters a 
bond issue of three million dollars for the purpose of buying grounds, 
building new buildings and providing additional equipment. This issue was 

' approved by a large majority, and out of the funds thus provided came eight 
new high schools, six of them junior high schools and two of them senior 
high schools. These buildings provided a total additional capacity for 
seventy 'two hundred pupils. 



Page 117 




During the fast few years many fine Public Schools have been built in Houston to properly 
take care of a fast increasing population 



However, when this program was finished it was found that relief had 
been given only for the high schools and that crowded conditions still pre- 
vailed in a number of the elementary schools. Therefore, as a second part 
of the building program, the Board of Education again submitted to the 
voters of the district a bond issue in the amount of four million dollars. 
This was approved by the voters by a large majority in November, 1925, 
and from this bond issue additions were made to high school buildings, 
which had again become overcrowded, practically all of the old elementary 
school buildings were rehabilitated and brought up to standard, and in 
addition thereto there were eight new elementary school buildings built. 

In other words, out of the seven million dollars as above provided for 
there were provided two hundred and fifty classrooms, four auditoriums, 
eight cafeterias, thirty combination lunch-auditorium-play rooms, nine gym- 
nasiums and six swimming pools. Such a building program was at the time 
without a precedent in the entire South. The magnitude of the program 
was noteworthy and the value received for the money spent was especially 
great for the type of constructions secured. The new buildings are all 
fireproof and the old buildings were completely worked over to make them 
as near fireproof as possible, and in fact all of the new constructions are in 
every respect splendid examples of the most modern type of school buildings, 
both in appearance and in adaptability to school purposes. 

But the story of the phenomenal growth of the Houston School District 
does not stop with the above facts, for in the spring of 1928 the Board of 
Education again realized that there were a number of children on half day 
sessions. The Board found that numerous of its new buildings were greatly 
overcrowded. There were junior high schools which had been built to ac- 
commodate one thousand children and an actual count showed an attend- 
ance of fourteen hundred. There were certain sections of the city where 
new additions had developed almost over night, and where there were three 
or four hundred children without school facilities in their community. 
Therefore, the Board of Education again submitted to the voters of the dis- 
trict an additional four million dollar bond issue for the purpose of build- 
ing additions to numerous new schools, as well as for the purpose of pro- 
viding ten additional new buildings, and this bond issue was approved by a 
large majority of the voters in May, 1928. 

It is remarkable to note that within eight months after the above bond 
issue was approved by the voters that approximately two million dollars 
worth of new construction has been actually finished, accepted by the Board 
of Education and put into use, thereby offering accommodations for some 
five thousand pupils who otherwise would have been on half day sessions. 
In fact this last four million dollar bond issue provides for a program 
which will be complete in every sense of the word before the end of 1929. 

Page 119 




Another group of Houston Schools, whose pleasing architecture adds much to 
community development 



It is doubtful if such a program has ever been completed in such a short 
time. 

One of the most notable features of the building programs that have 
been carried on by the Board of Education is the provision of providing 
large grounds for the new buildings. In fact these sites range from six to 
twelve acres and were selected after intensive study of the present and prob' 
able future needs of various sections of the city. In other words, locations 
of new schools were made from a scientific standpoint and not made simply 
because some real estate firm or some special group of citizens desired a 
school located at some particular point. As a result Houston today has one 
of the best school plants in the entire country, each building of which is 
located to serve best its section of the city. 

The value of school property in the Houston Independent School Dis- 
trict is in excess of twenty million dollars. There are forty-five thousand 
children enrolled in the Houston public schools, thirteen thousand of these 
being in the high schools, and the last scholastic census which was taken 
shows Houston to have approximately fifty-four thousand children of 
scholastic age. This is approximately two thousand more than in any other 
city in Texas. There are 98 school buildings. The Board of Education has 
also provided a Junior College for white students. The College is self-sus- 
taining and has an enrollment of more than five hundred students. And in 
addition to this the Board of Education has recently established a Junior 
College for Negroes, this being the only municipal Junior College so far 
established in Texas for Negroes. But the Board of Education, in all of its 
programs, has undertaken to provide complete facilities for all people, re- 
gardless of age or color. 

The Board of Education has not omitted bringing its curriculum up to 
standard. Experts have been employed, and as a result the course of study 
is one of the most up to date to be found anywhere in the country. Pro- 
vision is made not only for the education of the children, but their health 
and physical development is also taken into consideration. There are sixty- 
five lunch rooms in operation in the various schools, being directed by the 
Board of Education for the sole purpose of providing the best possible food 
at the least expense. There are corps of nurses and doctors who devote their 
time to the health of the children, and in fact it is now known that from a 
standpoint of health it is better for Houston children to be in school than 
out. 

When it is understood that Houston has climbed from third place in 
population to first place of all the cities in Texas, and when it is realised 
that there are only two other cities in the United States that have grown 
so rapidly that the United States Census Bureau refuses to estimate the 
population, and when a careful study is made of the modern up to date 

Page 121 




Rice Institute ranks with the finest colleges and universities in the United States. Young 
men and young women throughout the country come to Houston because of this great sichool 



school system of the City of Houston, the efforts of the Board of Education 
in the last five years become nothing less than marvelous. Of course, all of 
this expansion has been made possible through the generosity of the voters 
of the district. The people have recognised and proclaimed their belief in 
the schools, and the Board of Education has every assurance that the people 
will continue to provide the funds, increasing though they may be, for the 
support and maintenance of the schools. 

The present Board of Education is composed of the following: R. H. 
Fonville, President; W. B. Bates, Secretary; K. C. Barkley, Vice President; 
Mrs. B. F. Coop, Ass't Secretary; W. A. Kirkland; E. D. Shepherd; Dr. 
Ray K. Daily. E. E. Oberholtzer, Superintendent. H. L. Mills, Business 
Manager. 



Page 123 




HOUSTON LIBRARIES 




Houston Libraries 

By Julia Ideson 



OUSTON is naturally proud of its 
library facilities, and the splendid 
progress we have made along that line 
within the last few years. Outstanding, of 
course, is the erection of the new library, 
which, with branches, represents an in' 
vestment of $800,000. The site comprising 
the whole block bounded by McKinney 
and Lamar avenues and Smith and Bag- 
by streets, places it in a location where it 
becomes a part of Houston's new civic 
center. 

Eight years ago the library was k> 
cated in wholly inadequate quarters at 
McKinney avenue and Travis street. 
This property was sold for $100,000, and 
the people voted bonds for a new site 
and one of the handsomest library buildings in the South. 

During the same period the library began the establishment of branches. 
The $100,000 received for the old site was used for the construction of two 
beautiful branch libraries, one on the North Side and the other in Houston 
Heights. 

Formerly the library had always been dependent on the whims of city 
councils for support, not knowing from year to year just how much it was 
to receive for any one year, and consequently unable to make plans far 
ahead. But the council submitted to the voters a proposal to set aside 2 J/2 
cents on the $100 of assessed city values which should go to library pur' 
poses. With this assurance of a fixed, and calculable income, the library has 
been enabled to make continuous and substantial progress. 

The library board is now asking that the tax levy be raised to five cents 
on the $100. Their request has met with no opposition, but has been dc 
ferred until the new administration takes charge when the matter will 
likely be taken up. 

In ministering to book needs the Library performs many and varied 
services, but perhaps the most obvious measure of its use is in the number 
of books loaned for home reading. The book circulation this year from the 

Page 125 




HOUSTON'S LIBRARIES 
Top — Heights Branch. Center — Central Library Building. Bottom— North Side Branch 



main library, branches and stations was 586,965 volumes, an increase over 
last year of 77,299. Out of that total 305,945 books were loaned from the 
main library and 281,020 from branches and stations. The increase in 
volumes loaned from the main library was 36,371, which shows that the 
increased facilities have more than offset the removal of the building three 
blocks from the former more central location. 

The Library has been indefatigably occupied with its great function of 
supplying information. Every community should make it possible for its 
citizens to secure not only the world's works of imagination but also the 
world's truths. 

President Calvin Coolidge said in a recent address on the value of 
books: "There is no scholarship without exactness. Knowledge requires 
absolute certainty. Wisdom arises from a comparison of accurate informa- 
tion. 11 

Thousands of questions, no count of which is kept, each of vital mv 
portance to the questioner, are answered by telephone, at the desk, or by 
letter for young and old, for small and mighty. 

The Norma Meldrum Children's Room loaned 95,595 books which 
was an increase of nearly six hundred books a month over last year. 
Throughout the system 261,770 children's books were loaned. Gracious 
and quiet in atmosphere the children's room opens a door of beauty to all 
Houston's children and their response is a measure of their appreciation. 

Many activities, such as vacation reading clubs, cooperation with 
teachers, observance of Book Week and instruction to school-room groups 
have been carried on to the end of winning children to a knowledge of the 
library and of books. An increase of over a thousand more books loaned 
every month is recorded at the branches, and the use of both the Heights 
(whose circulation was 91,203) and Carnegie (whose circulation was 
80,224) branches is evidence of the place each fills in its community. 

The total number of volumes in the Library is 114,599 of which 
90,686 are in the Main Library, 6998 in Carnegie Branch, 7663 in Heights 
Branch and 9250 in Colored Branch. 

Library cards were issued to 12,879 new readers. The Library has 
50,604 registered card holders. Of these 35,193 are at the Main Library, 
4987 at Carnegie Branch, 7084 at Heights Branch and 3340 at Colored 
Branch. 

In the periodical room are received 42 daily and weekly newspapers 
and over 634 magazines. There are included here practically all periodicals 
of recognized worth: financial, industrial, educational, social and re- 
ligious — all have their patrons. Back files of magazines are always available 
and many thousands of them are consulted during the year. Here are kept 

Page 127 



also City and Telephone Directories of other cities; and school and college 
catalogs. 

In 1928 the geological library of the late Dr. Edwin Theodore Dumble 
comprising about 600 bound volumes and about 1200 unbound volumes 
and pamphlets was presented to the Library by his wife, Mrs. Dumble. 
This collection is of particular value in this section of the country, where 
geology is a ruling factor in the gigantic oil enterprises which center around 
Houston and the southeast part of the state. 

Other collections of special reference value are the bound files of Texas 
newspapers which date back to 1834; the collection of Government docu' 
ments consisting of over 8,000 bound volumes and bound files of periods 
cals. These with books in the Reference Department of a more general 
nature as yearbooks, dictionaries and encyclopedias comprise usefulness to 
the community and is something of which no figures are kept but from 
which throughout the day questions of every nature are being answered. 

The genealogical collection is growing in value and use. Many of the 
volumes are gifts from the local chapters of the Daughters of the American 
Revolution who through their cooperation have been instrumental in help' 
ing to develop this department. 

Besides the Central Library and its three branches the Library main' 
tains stations at Park Place, Harrisburg, West End, Girl Scouts Camp, 
Council House on Washington street, Eastwood Church and Foley Broth' 
ers, and book collections are kept in 40 schoolrooms. 

The Auditorium and Club-Rooms are used by various groups. One 
hundred and thirty-five meetings have been held during the year. 

Gifts to the number of 2328 books, 1177 pamphlets and periodicals 
and 205 maps and pictures have been received during the year. Among 
these are the portraits of General Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, the 
gift of the Daughters of the Confederacy. These portraits hang above the 
desk of the main circulation department. 

An interesting souvenir of the Democratic Convention for the 
Library's archives is the Guest Book of the Houston Hospitality House. 
This book was first signed by Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, Mr. Clem Shaver, 
Governor Moody and others on the opening day of the convention and 
later by many visiting notables as well as by several thousand other guests 
of Houston. The volume was presented by the Hospitality House Com- 
mittee ot which Mr. Will Hogg was chairman. The pen (tied in the red. 
white and blue) is bound in cover. 

The Green Mask Players presented the Library with $95.00 for pur 
chasing books of plays. Mr. Meldrum gave the Children's Room $1,000.00 
for new books, a group of Heights Clubs and Parent-Teacher Associations 
gave over $90.00 for a curtain for the Heights Auditorium, the seven 

Page 128 



Mexican librarians enroute to the American Library Association meeting 
who were entertained by the Houston Library presented a number of 
Mexican books and Major Ingham Roberts secured for presentation vol' 
ume number one of the "Telegraph and Texas Register" published in 
Houston in 1835 to April 14, 1836, a gift of marked historical value. 

Library Board: Mr. W. A. Vinson, President; Mrs. H. F. Ring, Vice 
President; Mrs. C. A. Teagle, Secretary; Mr. Robert Funkhouser, Treas- 
urer; Mrs. W. G. Love, Dr. E. E. Oberholtz,er, Dr. E. P. West, Dr. Henry 
Barnston. 

The Main Library building was constructed from bond issues to the 
amount of $500,000.00 voted by the people. The designing architect was 
Ralph Adams Cram who was associated with Watkin and Glover of Hous- 
ton. The style of architecture is Spanish Renaissance and the building com- 
bines beauty of design and setting with adaptability to the climate and con- 
venience of arrangement. 

The Carnegie Branch is on the North Side and is so named in com- 
memoration of Mr. Carnegie's gift of $50,000.00 to the city in 1900 for 
its first Library building. It is an attractive building located in a large square 
between two public schools and is of colonial style of architecture sug- 
gestive of Monticello. It was opened in 1925. 

The Heights Branch in Houston Heights is the center of a thickly 
populated residential center. The building was dedicated in 1926 and is of 
Italian Renaissance architecture. Both Heights and Carnegie were built 
from the proceeds of the sale of the original Carnegie property. 

The Colored Branch was built from a Carnegie gift of $15,000.00 and 
opened in 1913. It is located beside the Colored High School in the center 
of a Colored business and residential district. 

These buildings mean more than "bricks and mortar" — they are a vital 
factor in the community's life and educational development. 



Page 129 




PORT of HOUSTON 



Port of Houston 



By Colonel B. C. Allin 



colonel 

B. C. 
ALLIN 



ONE will gainsay 
the fact that the 
period under review now 
has seen Houston develop 
from a rather inconsequen' 
tial ship terminal, with 
high hopes for the future, 
to a real world port, with 
oversea lines into every 
great port of the world 
and a coastwise commerce 
that has developed beyond 
fondest dreams. 

The Port of Houston 
the last year took fourth 
place in rank for foreign 
exports and eighth in com' 
bined imports and exports. 

The rapid growth of 
the port reads like a ro' 
mance in the commercial 
history of the nation, and 
the rapid development of 
the port has been reflected in the marvelous development of the city. 

Eight years ago we had 3049 lineal feet of public wharves; now we have 
7,401 feet. Eight years ago we had berthing space for 10 vessels; now space 
for 17. Eight years ago we had only 18.67 miles of Public Belt Railroad; 
now 56.14 miles. 

But one fact not measured in figures is the change in methods of 
handling our port facilities brought about within these eight years. At 
initiative of this administration, and by special act of the legislature and 
vote of the people, the whole of port management was placed under the 
Navigation District, which comprises the entire county, instead of just the 
City of Houston. The Port Commission was made a separate entity by 
this action. 




CAPTAIN 
CHARLES 
CROTTY 

Assistant 

Director of 

the Port 



Page 131 




Vieivs along the Houston Ship Channel 



Another big move for port development was placing the Municipal 
Belt Railroad under joint management of all rail lines serving the port. 
Formerly the management of the city directly had been fraught with much 
dissatisfaction. The city induced the railroads to form a joint association, 
where charges for service to all railroads and industries were equalised and 
there could be no discrimination, nor any monopoly of advantages. This 
has worked tremendously to the advantage of all concerned and has had its 
part to do in development of the port. 

Private initiative has not been idle while the Municipality, the Naviga' 
tion District and Federal Government have been doing their part. But the 
most pleasing feature of it all, and the movement of most portent to the 
future of the city has been the alacrity with which private industries and 
private shipping firms have taken advantage of the opportunities offered 
them in Port Houston. 

Big things the city has done single handed to develop the port are con' 
struction of the Sixty-ninth Street bridge and construction of wide concrete 
highways to wharves on both sides of the channel, at a total cost of 
$5,000,000. Navigation boulevard on the south is completed, designated 
by engineers as the finest built commercial driveway in the state, and the 
north side drive is almost complete. It has also in course of construction 
the Adams Street bridge, higher up on the channel, linking these two drives 
together. The county has aided by building a concrete highway on the 
south side from the city to Morgan's Point and on the north side from 
city limits to Goose Creek. 

A bond issue was passed late in 1922 for $4,000,000 with which the 
Navigation District proceeded to construct terminals on the north side of 
the Turning Basin. Under this plan four wharf units were constructed, 
together with a million bushel grain elevator. Extensive railroad yards were 
also built on the north side of the Turning Basin and a connection made 
along Avenue "O," Magnolia Park, with the cityowned tracks at the 
Turning Basin to the track of the Municipal Harbor Belt line at Harrisburg 
boulevard, thus avoiding the necessity of operating over lines of other rail' 
roads. 

Under a subsequent bond issue, passed in 1924, for $500,000.00 addi- 
tional railway trackage was constructed in the railroad yard on the north 
side at Manchester and an extension from the Turning Basin to the Carnegie 
Steel Company plant near Clinton. 

With these funds the fire boat "Port Houston" was constructed at a 
cost of about $314,000.00 and placed in active service during the summer 
of 1926 under the direction of the Houston Fire Department. 

In 1927 another bond issue in the sum of $1,500,000.00 was passed, 
with which improvements have been made consisting of the construction of 

Page 133 




Vieics along the Houston Ship Channel 



Wharves 14 and 15, the extension of the carrier system of the grain 
elevator, the extension of the Public Belt Railroad from Pasadena to Deer 
Park, the construction of additional yard tracks at Manchester and in the 
Port Yard, the construction of a second story to Wharf No. 12 and the 
acquisition of several tracts of land for future development on the channel 
and for dumping grounds on which to deposit material excavated in making 
proposed improvements and for the use of the government in the construe 
tion and maintenance of the main channel. 

The main ship channel has been deepened from 25 feet to 30 feet and 
has been widened from 1 50 feet to 250 feet from Bolivar Roads to Morgan's 
Point across Galveston Bay, and from 100 feet to 150 feet from Morgan's 
Point to the Turning Basin, with a considerable enlargement of the basin 
proper. This work was done under appropriations made by the Federal 
Government and the cooperation of the Navigation District, which con- 
tributed $1,365,000.00 toward this work, which was done at a total cost of 
approximately $5,000,000.00. 

Examination and survey have been made and report submitted to the 
chief of engineers, which will provide for further improvements of the 
channel by easing of bends and widening in certain localities. 

The following table represents the growth of public facilities during the 
past eight years: 

1921 1929 

Lineal feet of wharves 3,049 7,401 Lin. Ft. 

Berthing space for vessels 10 17 Vessels 

Covered area in square feet 703,308 1,175,011 Sq. Ft. 

Open area in square feet 102,322 409,182 Sq. Ft. 

Miles of Public Belt Railroad 18.67 56.14 

The development of private terminals and industrial plants along the 
Ship Channel during this period has been very extensive, as well as the en' 
largement of plants, which had been established prior to 1921. Among the 
new industries are listed the following: 

Houston Compress Company, with 3504 feet of wharf frontage. 
Channel Fuel Company, 500 feet. 

American Maid Flour Mills, large flour mill and grain elevator, 
using Manchester Wharf for loading vessels. 

Carnegie Steel Company, large storage and assembling plant, with 
400 feet of wharfage. 

Southern Pacific (Morgan Line) Terminals, with 1250 feet of 
wharf front. 

Manchester Terminal Corporation, cotton compress and general 
merchandise terminals, 1600 feet of wharves. 
Clarion Oil Company, 150 feet. 

Page 135 




Views along the Houston Ship Channel 



Gulf Refining Company (Keen & Woolf plant), refinery and 600 
feet of wharf under construction. 

Houston Lighting & Power Company, 100,000 kilowatt generating 
plant, with 600 feet bulkhead and 1 50 foot wharf. 

Crown'Central Oil Corporation, large refinery and 300 foot wharf. 

American Petroleum Company, large tank farm and 150 foot wharf. 

Shell Petroleum Corporation, large refinery under construction, with 
slip 2,000 feet long, three wharf units 250 feet each. 

San Jacinto Dock & Terminal Company (C. A. Barbour), channel 
and Turning Basin under construction at Morgan's Point. 

Houston Oil Terminal provided bunker oil storage on south side of 
basin, with loading pipe lines along public wharves and to Houston 
Compress wharves whereby vessels can be bunkered while taking on 
and discharging cargo. 

Turning Basin Compress Company leased cotton sheds A, B and C 
from the city and installed two high density compressers, together with 
additional buildings, providing modern compress facilities at shipside 
in rear of wharves 7 and 8. 
In addition to these improvements of the main channel, the following 
have taken place on the light draft channel between the Turning Basin and 
Main street: 

Construction of the Trinity Portland Cement plant, with a capacity 
of about 2,000 barrels per day. 

Building of the 6-story plant of the Houston Terminal Warehouse 
and Cold Storage Company, providing 350,000 cubic feet of cold 
storage and 750,000 square feet of dry storage area. 

The Central Warehouse and Forwarding Company (H. C. Schuh- 
macher properties), 6-story merchandise warehouse. 

The enlargement and improvement of various cotton loading facili- 
ties, shell and sand plants, etc., as well as the construction of a small 
marine railway and repair yard by W. L. Jones. 
This upper channel is now being improved to a depth of 10 feet and 
width of 60 feet on the bottom, this work to be completed during the pres- 
ent year. 

In addition to these, the following plants have materially enlarged their 

facilities: 

The Ralston-Purina Company (formerly the Tex-Cuban Molasses - 
Company), increased tankage facilities. 

Armour Fertiliser Works, enlargement of plant. 

Ship Channel Compress Company, construction of 800 foot wharf 
and large two-story sheds and compress. 

Texas Chemical Company, enlargement of plant. 

Page 137 




Views along the Houston Ship Channel 



Deepwater Oil Refinery, increased capacity of plant with pipe line 
for loading over public wharf at Manchester. 

Texas Portland Cement Company, tripling the capacity of plant. 
Sinclair Oil Refining Company, more than doubling the capacity of 
plant and construction of 1400 feet of wharves. 
Galena Refinery, increasing capacity of plant. 
Gulf Refining Company, increased storage facilities. 
Humble Oil & Refining Company, increase of capacity by 100% 
and addition of 400 foot pier. 
The Houston North Shore Electric Line, now controlled by the Missouri 
Pacific, has extended an electric interurban from Houston to Goose Creek 
along the north side of the channel, and Mr. J. S. Cullinan has constructed 
a private railroad, known as the North Side Belt Railroad, from Galena to 
a connection with the Port Yard near the Turning Basin. 

The growth of the Port of Houston is clearly brought out in the increase 
in tonnage passing through the port and by the number of vessels loading 
and discharging each year, and the following table shows the phenomenal 
growth of traffic which has brought the Port of Houston from a standing 
start in 1915 to the fourth place in United States ports for foreign exports 
and to eighth place in combined imports and exports, according to the 
annual report issued by the United States Shipping Board for the fiscal year 
ending June 30, 1928. 

COMPARATIVE STATEMENT BY YEARS 
SHORT TONS 



1920 



1921 



Tons 

Imports 208,662 

Exports 215,913 

Coastwise Inbound . . . 149,375 
Coastwise Outbound . . . 140,671 

Sub Total 714,621 

Local Traffic 493,583 

Grand Total 1,210,204 

Tons 

Imports 391,517 

Exports 537,617 

Coastwise Inbound . ... 234,131 
Coastwise Outbound . . . 864,662 

Sub Total 2,027,927 

Local Traffic 1,337,708 

Grand Total 3,365,635 



Value 


Tons 


Value 


3,504,397 


227,254 


$ 3,302,271 


45,092,145 


318,092 


48,827,043 


22,061,296 


213,509 


12,361,775 


23,098,918 


637,583 


9,286,246 



72,967,244 
9,333,918 

$ 82,301,162 



1922 



Value 

; 4,226,148 

96,893,152 

20,871,247 

14,969,073 

136,959,620 
7,313,280 



1,396,438 
1,440,911 



73,877,335 
5,086,053 



2,837,349 $ 78,963,388 
1923 



Tons 
484,915 
948,163 
201,838 
1,514,280 

3,149,196 
1,646,128 



$144,272,900 4,795,324 



Value 

$ 6,291,702 

148,566,373 

31,455,158 

28,812,281 

215,125,512 
15,518,219 

$230,643,731 

Page 139 



1924 1925 

Tons Value Tons Value 

Imports 671,674 $ 8,194,648 489,619 $ 1 1,156,959 

Exports 1,471,989 195,495,744 1,913,286 285,622,945 

Coastwise Inbound 240,759 41,839,833 412,279 52,609,700 

Coastwise Outbound ...2,959,176 49,266,646 4,488,898 118,428,792 

Sub Total 5,343,598 294,796,871 7,304,082 467,818,396 

Local Traffic 1,750,696 19,559,637 2,443,040 22,187,896 

Grand Total 7,094,294 $314,356,508 9,747,122 $490,006,292 

1926 1927 

Tons Value Tons Value 

Imports 388,438 $10,233,229 184,657 $ 7,053,541 

Exports 2,562,400 226,759,667 2,873,677 275,473,345 

Coastwise Inbound 570,262 42,409,441 912,212 69,027,798 

Coastwise Outbound . . . 4,627,792 120,714,310 5,725,064 147,374,959 

Sub Total 8,148,992 400,116,647 9,695,610 493,929,643 

Local Traffic 2,427,344 15,462,185 2,307,887 17,199,957 

Grand Total 10,576,236 $41 5,578,832 12,003,497 $516,129,600 

1928 

Tons Value 

Imports 366,819.5 $ 12,187,033 

Exports 4,501,996.0 364,740,215 

Coastwise In 290,092.7 47,680,995 

Coastwise Out 4,285,403.1 123,039,815 

Intercoastal In 75,198.7 7,285,685 

Intercoastal Out 12,377.6 1,574,900 

Intracoastal In 554,093.7 11,122,496 

Intracoastal Out 970,018.4 16,766,743 

Sub Total 11,055,999.7 584,397,882 

Local Traffic 1,923,826.5 14,326,126 

Grand Total 12,979,826.2 $598,724,008 

COTTON EXPORT THROUGH PORT OF HOUSTON FOR 

Calendar Year — Sq. Bales Calendar Year — Sq. Bales 

1920 275,879 1924 1,288,280 

1921 455,015 1925 1,918,314 

1922 771,894 1926 2,071,005 

1923 1,004,680 1927 2,158,475 

Calendar Year 1928 2,326,372 Sq. Bales. 

COMPARATIVE STATEMENT ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES 

OF VESSELS 

Year — Arrivals Departures Total 

1919 157 153 310 

1920 165 161 326 

1921 364 380 744 

1922 511 495 1,006 

1923 701 693 1,400 

1924 955 952 1,907 

1925 1,193 1,183 2,376 

1926 1,391 1,386 2,777 

1927 1,787 1,773 3,560 

1928 1,973 1,962 3,935 

Page 140 




he photographs on the follow 

ing pages further emphasize 

the growth and development 

of Houston during the 

past eight years. 




p 



Q 




Some of the many beautiful buildings that have added greatly to Houston's skyline during 

the past eight years 




Another group of Majestic Buildings that have given to downtown Houston both dignity 

and beauty 




These modern Hotels and Apartments have played m important part in making Houston 

the Souihwest's leading City 




Houston may zcell feel proud of its new Art Museum, great Democratic 
Auditorium and stately County Court Building 



Hall, enlarged City 




The three great Daily Newspapers have pla$ 
and development of Houston. The top phc 



inipprtant part in the mar 
the new home of 



•jelous growth 
The Houston 



Press; the' center photograph is' that of the PJ&M t>lant of the Houston Post-Dispatch; 
while the tall building at the bottom is the home of flic Houston. Chronicle. 
Southwest is privileged to have three finer newspapers 



No city in the 



HOUSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 



RD130b L*flb7i